PHOENIX – “There’s a reason why every time we win a championship, Penny is driving the ship,” said Mercury guard Diana Taurasi at the team’s 2014 championship celebration. Today, the three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury announced the re-signing of Penny Taylor, one of the top players in franchise history and a key contributor to each of the franchise’s title teams (2007, 2009, 2014). Taylor, who did not play in the WNBA in 2015, returns to the Mercury with whom she has played since 2004.
Among the most important players in franchise history and one of the best players in the women’s international game, Taylor ranks second in Mercury history in total points (3275), assists (772), steals (332) and games played (234), and fourth in total rebounds (1047).
“If Diana Taurasi is the heart of our franchise, Penny Taylor is the soul,” said Mercury General Manager Jim Pitman. “Not only is she one of the greatest players in the history of the women’s game and one of the driving forces behind our three championships, she is a great teammate, a leader, a calming force on the floor and in the locker room. She has overcome injuries and setbacks, and she relentlessly persevered as the ultimate professional to get back on the court and help lead us to the title in 2014.”
A three-time WNBA All-Star (2002, 2007, 2011), Taylor is a two-time All-WNBA selection (2007 First Team, 2011 Second Team) and a two-time Olympic silver medalist with her native Australia (2004, 2008). She is a two-time World Championships medalist, including a tournament MVP performance in 2006 when she led Australia to the gold (2014 – bronze).
Originally the 11th overall pick of the 2001 WNBA Draft by the Cleveland Rockers, Taylor was the first overall pick by the Mercury in the 2004 Rockers dispersal draft. The 22nd-leading scorer in league history (4,294 points), Taylor owns career averages of 13.0 points and 4.4 rebounds alongside a field goal percentage of 46.4-percent, seventh-best in WNBA history. A versatile forward who can get to the basket and the free-throw line, Taylor’s career 38.1-percent accuracy from three-point range is the highest in WNBA history.
During the 2015-16 offseason, Taylor played with the Shanxi Flame of the WCBA in China where she averaged 23.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists on 46.8-percent shooting from the field.
The starting lineup that won it all in 2014 is back! Diana Taurasi and Penny Taylor return to join 2015 All-Star trio Brittney Griner, Candice Dupree and DeWanna Bonner as the Phoenix Mercury pursue a league-record tying fourth WNBA title in 2016. Tickets for the Mercury home opener on Friday, May 20, and the other 16 regular-season Mercury home games can be purchased by calling 602.252.WNBA or by visiting PhoenixMercury.com.