Australian basketball world champion and two-time Olympic silver medallist Penny Taylor will be inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame later this year.
- Taylor was a member of the Opals squad that won the 2006 World Cup
- She won three WNBA championships with Phoenix Mercury
- Taylor competed at three Olympics
The former Opals captain and three-time Olympian will join Chinese legend Yao Ming among 10 players recognised by the sport’s international governing body at a ceremony in the Philippines during the men’s World Cup in August.
Taylor claimed two Olympic silver medals but her crowning moment came when she won tournament MVP honours in the Opals’ 2006 world championship breakthrough.
A three-time WNBA champion with Phoenix Mercury, the Melbourne product also played across Europe and Asia in a 19-year professional career that began in the WNBL with the Australian Institute of Sport team in 1997.
The 42-year-old now lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and has two children with WNBA great Diana Taurasi.
“My life is pretty much consumed with children and home life so it’s a nice little reminder that I once did something else other than this,” Taylor said of her Hall of Fame recognition.
“It’s also good because you forget what you did. There were so many years of continuously playing year-round, all the different seasons, and it kind of just flies by.
“I really cared about the FIBA stuff and I really cared about Euro League. I fought my butt off for it, so for me it’s just as good as any other recognition because it was important to me.”
The Opals’ 2006 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup victory remains the high-water mark of Australian basketball.
“The goal for me was always to win and that’s the only time we won a gold medal as the Opals,” Taylor said.
“Those tournaments were really tough and that year we happened to have a really deep team, experienced and tough players and a lot of fresh legs mixed in with that.
“We had everyone healthy and we got a little bit of luck not having to face the US at any stage during that tournament. It all just came together.”