Former WNBA player Kristi Toliver joins NBA team as assistant, team’s first female coach (USA)
Washington Wizards Coach Scott Brooks announced several coaching moves Tuesday afternoon, most notably adding Kristi Toliver as an assistant with player development responsibilities.
Toliver becomes the first woman in franchise history to hold a coaching position and the fourth in NBA history, joining Becky Hammon (San Antonio Spurs), Jenny Boucek (Dallas Mavericks) and Nancy Lieberman (Sacramento Kings). Toliver was an assistant on the Wizards’ summer league team this year.
Toliver has played for the Washington Mystics for the past two seasons, helping them reach the WNBA Finals this year for the first time. The all-star guard won a WNBA championship in 2016 with the Los Angeles Sparks before joining the Mystics as a free agent.
“Thrilled for the opportunity that Scott and [General Manager Ernie Grunfeld] and all these guys have given me,” Toliver said. “I’m blessed to be in the position that I am. As an active player and now an active assistant coach, it’s an honor. It’s something that I’ve worked for and that I’ve earned, so I feel good about that. The Wizards have been great, and I’m just super blessed with this opportunity.”
The Wizards also announced the hiring of Robert Pack and the promotion of Ryan Richman to assistant coaching positions. Pack, a former NBA guard, spent last season as a scout with the Portland Trail Blazers; Richman, entering his fifth season with Washington, most recently was the Wizards’ summer league head coach.
Washington opens the season Thursday night at Capital One Arena against the Miami Heat.
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