Washington Mystics combo guard Kristi Toliver joined the Wizards Summer League coaching ranks Monday night, making her debut in a profession she wants to pursue after her career as a player.
Wizards assistant Ryan Richman, who runs the summer league team, reached out to Toliver with the opportunity. Hours after playing the second night of a back-to-back, Toliver caught a red-eye to Las Vegas and helped the team earn a victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, 87-75.
The 31-year-old has enjoyed a successful 10-year run in the WNBA, winning a title in 2016 with the Los Angeles Sparks and earning the WNBA's Most Improved Player honor in 2012.
Toliver, then a freshman, was also a key part of Maryland's NCAA championship run in 2006. She sunk a game-tying three-pointer with seconds remaining to force overtime against Duke. The eventual win marked the school's first national championship in women's basketball.
The former first-round pick was seen dishing out advice during timeouts, mentoring point guard Chris Chiozza and being consistently vocal from the sideline throughout the game.
— Washington Mystics (@WashMystics) July 9, 2018
Great to see Kristi Toliver pursue her dreams to coach in the NBA, she assisted front row yesterday and helped us get our first win in Vegas. https://t.co/8JSWF3Z7vg— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) July 10, 2018
Troy Brown Jr. led the team in scoring with 23 points, while new addition Thomas Bryant notched a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Catch Toliver back on the court in uniform at Capital One Arena Wednesday night, but don't be surprised if you catch her on a coaching staff soon after her playing career.
“I’m still 31. I’m still in my prime time of playing but you’ve always got to look at the next thing. Basketball is my love and my passion so I just want to stay connected to the game in any way that I can and I think coaching is a way to do that,” Toliver said.
Never stop learning about this game! 🏀@KristiToliver used her off day with the @WashMystics to head to @NBASummerLeague & join the @WashWizards coaching staff for a day. #WatchMeWork pic.twitter.com/b070aNsBwb— WNBA (@WNBA) July 10, 2018
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