Mercury name Kristi Toliver associate head coach

Michael Voepel, ESPN.comDec 1, 2023, 04:08 PM ET

CloseMichael Voepel covers the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.

Veteran WNBA guard Kristi Toliver has been named associate head coach of the Phoenix Mercury, the organization announced Friday.

She joins the staff of new head coach Nate Tibbetts, who was hired in October after a long career as an NBA assistant coach.

Toliver, who won championships playing for Los Angeles Sparks (2016) and Washington Mystics (2019), has not officially announced she is retiring from playing. She tore her right ACL in September, near the end of an injury-plagued season with the Mystics in which she played just 11 games. She also was limited to 11 games in 2022 and 19 in 2021 because of injuries while with Los Angeles. She did not play in the 2020 season held in the COVID-19 bubble in Bradenton, Florida.

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Toliver, who turns 37 in January, has played 14 seasons in the WNBA after the Chicago Sky took her with the No. 3 draft pick out of Maryland in 2009. She was a key part of the Terrapins’ NCAA championship team in 2006.

Toliver has averaged 11.8 points and 3.4 assists in her WNBA career, playing nine seasons with the Sparks, four with the Mystics and one with the Sky.

She previously was an NBA assistant during the WNBA’s offseason, with the Washington Wizards from 2018 to 2020 and the Dallas Mavericks from 2021 to 2023.

The Mercury (9-31) finished last in the WNBA and missed the playoffs this past season. They are in the draft lottery, which will be held Dec. 10, and have the second-best chance at the No. 1 pick.

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