Penny TaylorOne of the nation’s greatest ever basketball products, Penny Taylor secured her first professional contract with the Dandenong Rangers when she was 17. Since then she has had a decorated career that has seen her win titles in Australia, USA, Italy, Russia, Turkey, as well as in China. Taylor made her Games debut in 2004 after just missing out on selection for Sydney 2000. She won a silver medal with the side at her debut Games before going on to be named the Most Valuable Player at the 2006 World Championships where Australia were crowned World champions. A severe ankle injury to Taylor in the quarter-finals at the Beijing 2008 Games was a devastating set-back to the Australian side as they eventually went down to the United States in the gold medal match.She defied the odds to come back from multiple injuries that cruelled her chances of playing at the London 2012 Games and then kept her out of a large part of the 2013 WNBA season. She would prove crucial on her return to the Phoenix Mercury’s 2014 WNBA championship winning side which was her third with the team. In an eventful year she also captained the Australian side to the bronze medal at the 2014 World Championships. Back in the green and gold at the Rio 2016 Games, Taylor was again one of the stars of the side. Australia opened their campaign against hosts Brazil and after trailing by ten at the first break, the side fought back to secure a 84-66 win as Taylor finished with 17 points. A close victory over Turkey was followed up with another dominant 18 point victory over France where Taylor scored a game-high 31 points and 9 assists. Down by 16 early in the fourth quarter, Taylor's 13 points and 7 assists helped the side claim a 92-86 win over Japan. Another comeback win, this time against Belarus, ensured the Aussies finished the group undefeated to set up a quarter-final clash with Serbia. The match was back and forth the whole way with Serbia claiming a two point lead with just 10 seconds to go. The Aussies had the chance to level the match but couldn’t score as the side's run of five straight women’s Olympic basketball medals came to an end.
In 29 minutes per game in Rio, Taylor was one of the side’s best averaging 13.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists.