The Phoenix Mercury paid tribute to the three-time WNBA champion Penny Taylor in front of the X-Factor on Sunday afternoon.
Taylor’s success with the franchise was celebrated in many different ways throughout the game including: a halftime portrait of Taylor by artist David Garibaldi, video tributes from players and coaches, and a post game jersey retirement ceremony.
In addition, fans received a Penny Taylor themed rally towel. Section 113 at Talking Stick Resort Arena will now be renamed “Section 13” for the remainder of the season to honor Taylor’s jersey number.
“It’s an incredible honor and I can’t acknowledge how much this city and club have given to me and to have them recognize me in this way is pretty special.” Taylor said.
On this special day for Taylor many fans were on hand to attend including Joy Richardson, a native from Australia.
“She has done her country so proud,” Richardson said. “The way she is all about the team she is selfless, she is an inspiration to many around the world. I couldn’t not be here on this day I had to come over here and say thank you.”
Taylor played ten seasons with the Mercury and as a key piece to the rotation always made it tough for the opposing defense. Before coming to Phoenix, Head Coach Sandy Brondello spent time coaching in San Antonio and Los Angeles against Taylor.
“It was very hard because she is so versatile,” Brondello said. “She could shoot the three, she could take you off the dribble, she can pull up. She is an intelligent player so it was a hard challenge. That’s what makes it so special it doesn’t mean being the quickest but if you have skill and if you can do all of those things you are always going to be a hard guard.”
During her time in Phoenix Taylor accomplished so much in a Mercury uniform. She is currently on the Top Five list for the franchise in scoring, rebounds, assists, steals, and games played. But her favorite memories was always winning titles for the Mercury.
“At the end of the day the championships are what always mattered,” Taylor said. “That’s what we were always fighting for.”
The Mercury and Coach Taylor will look to keep their winning streak rolling at home as they welcome in the Atlanta Dream on Wednesday.