Phoenix Mercury to honor Penny Taylor

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Not much has changed for Penny Taylor. After retiring following 13 WNBA seasons, Taylor still goes to basketball practice in downtown Phoenix.

“It’s so exciting to get to keep learning, staying involved with the team that you really care about,” says the Mercury’s second all time leading scorer.  “And I get to learn from a coach that I really respect.”

These days Taylor doesn’t leave the bench, working as the team’s Director of Player Development. On Sunday she will become the fifth member off the franchise to have her name hoisted to the rafters.

“It’s pretty special, it means a lot to me,” said Taylor. “It’s been my home since I was 22, 23, so it’s pretty special to be shown this level of appreciation. It’s a little emotional. It’s all quite overwhelming to me that they’re saying thanks to me when I’m the one who feels grateful.”

Taylor has had a busy season of ceremonies so far. She married former teammate Diana Taurasi the day before the season. Taurasi became the WNBA’s all time leading scorer last month and her number three will one day hang next to Taylor’s banner as well.

“That’s a given. She’s the best to play the game,” says Taylor who won three WNBA Championships with the Mercury. “I get to sit and watch her every day now.”

Originally from Australia, Taylor is proud to call the Valley home, even this time of year.

“Phoenix in the summer, who wouldn’t want to be here,” jokes Taylor. “I love how it’s grown. I’m a foodie, love all the restaurants. The heat isn’t that bad, it’s actually good for my hair.”

The first 10,000 fans get a commemorative Taylor towel on Sunday against New York. Also, section 113 will be re-branded as section 13 to honor her now-retired number.

Tipoff is set for 3:00 p.m. against the New York Liberty.

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