|Los Angeles Sparks|
|Born||March 24, 1966|
San Diego State|
Long Beach State
|1997–1999||Los Angeles Sparks|
|2014||Los Angeles Sparks (interim)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Virginia "Penny" Toler (born March 24, 1966) is an American former basketball player. She was the first player to score in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Toler is currently the general manager of the Los Angeles Sparks.
Toler began her college career at San Diego State, sat out a year, and then transferred to Long Beach State, where she became an All-American basketball player. During her career Long Beach State made it to the Final Four twice, in 1987 and 1988. Toler was considered one of the best ever collegiate players under future Hall of Fame coach Joan Bonvicini. In 1995 she was inducted into the Long Beach State Athletic Hall of Fame.
Toler was a point guard allocated to the Los Angeles Sparks during the player initiation round in the 1997 WNBA draft. She is most commonly remembered as the first player to score a basket in the WNBA. She did so against the New York Liberty on June 21, 1997 19:01 hour at the Los Angeles Great Western Forum. Her shot was a side jumper. Toler also made the first free throw in the WNBA history.
In November 1999 she retired as a player to become the general manager of the Los Angeles Sparks. Immediately after taking on a management role, she would assemble the Los Angeles Sparks roster that would become the championship team in 2001.
Among all professional men or women sports leagues, Toler would become the fastest person to go from a player to general manager status to winning a championship in two years.
By the time the WNBA launched, Toler had already spent eight years playing basketball overseas. She has played five seasons in Italy, two seasons in Greece, and a season in Israel. While in Italy, she won a scoring title, two assist titles, and was MVP of the Italian all-star game.
WNBA Career Totals
WNBA Career Averages
WNBA Career Playoff Totals
WNBA Career Playoff Averages
- "Penny Toler recalls landmark WNBA basket - ESPN Video". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- "WNBA.com: WNBA History/Timeline". www.wnba.com. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- Bowman, James (2014-01-19). "Sparks Watch Day 18: The first WNBA game". Swish Appeal. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- Associated Press, "Penny Toler to take over as coach," ESPN (July 22, 2014). Retrieved July 22, 2014.