Elevated into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Victorian superstar Penny Taylor has joined a cavalcade of the sport’s immortals at her induction ceremony today.
Penny Taylor was inducted today into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame 2022 class, receiving her Eastman Trophy and Baron Championship Induction Ring in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her elevation into the Hall of Fame is the natural next step for a player of her calibre, as her incredible career across international basketball, the WNBA and WNBL received celebration from the basketball community.
Whether it was representing Australia on the international stage - winning a World Championship in 2006 as tournament MVP, as well as multiple Olympic Games medals, dominating in the WNBA with the Phoenix Mercury or competing at home in the WNBL - Taylor has always been a star of our sport. Now her legacy stands as part of the all-time category in the world community – an accolade she richly deserves.
Speaking at the ceremony today, Taylor said her time in basketball feels like an eternity ago, but loved every second of her time on court.
“It feels amazing,” Taylor said of being inducted. “It seems almost like, well it is another lifetime ago for me. I retired 5 years ago now. Since then I’ve had two children and I’m in the thick of motherhood. It’s a very surreal feeling almost and one that I’m really grateful for because it allows me to really reflect on my career and the things I was able to do and appreciate it on another level now.”
Since her parents signed her up in the South Belgrave Red Devils team as a young child she’s flourished and puts it down to being supported and guided into the sport.
“I was just actually writing my speech and reflecting a little on those early days and how it was very difficult for me, I was a very shy child and found the people watching even though it was a handful of parents, it was intimidating for me, and I had to really overcome that barrier. And I think in essence that’s why my parents put me into the sport, to allow me to be physical and to have that sort of opportunity to be competitive that they knew I had in me and just break through the shyness that held me back.”
“It’s the team aspect,” she said of her passion of the sport. “Going to battle with your teammates, with your coaches, improving and seeing it all come together over many, many months and all the effort that goes into it. I was never a big fan of practice, I’m not going to lie and say I was a hard worker, but I loved the games and I loved being out there and the battle aspect of it was just so fun for me.”
Taylor has been inducted in to the Class of 2022 alongside Debbie Antonelli (Contributor), Alice “Cookie” Barron (Veteran Player), Doug Bruno (Coach), Becky Hammon (Player), DeLisha Milton-Jones (Player), Paul Sanderford (Coach) and Bob Schneider (Coach).
The 2022 Induction is the 23rd Class of Inductees to be honoured by the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, which held its grand opening and inaugural induction in 1999.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME – PENNY TAYLOR
PENNY TAYLOR (International Player)
Three-Time WNBA Champion (2007, 2009, 2014) and three-time WNBA All-Star (2002, 2007, 2011)
Named to the 2007 All-WNBA First Team and 2011 All-WNBA Second Team
Guided Australia Women’s National Basketball Team to two Olympic silver medals (2004, 2008)