Penny Taylor is a Australian Womans Basketball player who played for Phoenix Mercury for most of her career. She won 3 WNBA Titles and was chosen in the WNBA All-Star First Team in 2009. Also she won 2 Olympic Silvers and a FIBA World Championship for Australia.
How did you get into Basketball?
I first started playing basketball when I was 4 years old. My older sister Heather played and loved it and my parents knew we would both be tall so encouraged us to take part in a sport where height could be an advantage.
Who was the most influential person in your career?
Phil Brown was someone who really influenced my career at a young age. He was the coach of the AIS and when I was 15 he helped me develop the necessary guard skills to play on the perimeter. I would not have been able to compete at the international level as a post player and he recognized this and helped me to improve my ball handling and shooting skills.
Was it challenging to get into the game as a Woman?
I was a very determined and focused young person and always worked very hard when it came to basketball. I always wanted to be the best I could be and was constantly working towards that goal.
You claimed two Silver medals at the Olympics and a Gold at the 2006 World Championships with the Australian National team. What was the biggest achievement in your international career?
I was lucky enough to play on many great teams in my international career and we had a long list of achievements. It was always a lot of fun competing for my country and every time I wore the green and gold was special to me. Including those times we didn’t do as well as we had hoped.
You won 3 WNBA titles with Phoenix Mercury. Which win was the most satisfying?
The WNBA titles were so special because the WNBA is the best league in the world and extremely difficult to win. All 3 titles are special because it took everything we had to win. I remember after each title being exhausted, having given everything I possibly could.
In your career you played as a small forward and shooting guard. Do you think this versatility helped you over your career?
I do think the versatility of my game helped me a lot over the years. In 2007 I had to play as a small forward and had quite an advantage on the offensive end. At other times I have had to play small forward when we have had injuries or foul trouble. I love being able to give the team what it needs.
What do you feel is your biggest achievement in your career?
My greatest achievement in my career is hopefully that I was a good team mate and helped others be better. My only goal was always to win and I always fought my hardest for my coaches and team mates.
What do you aim to achieve in the future?
I look forward to continuing to learn about the game of basketball. I am now coaching and learning from Sandy Brondello in the WNBA. Basketball is ever evolving and I want to keep evolving with it!!
Huge thanks to Penny for participating in the interview!