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Penny Toler Edit Profile

professional , executive , basketball player

Penny Toler, former professional basketball player, sports team executive. Achievements include scored first ever basket in Women's National Basketball Association history. Named All-American & Co-Player of Year/Big West, 1988, 1989. Founder Points from Penny Program, 1998.


Toler, Penny was born on March 24, 1966.


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.


She is currently the general manager of the Los Angeles Sparks. 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. On July 20, 2014, Toler was named as interim head coach following the firing of Carol Ross.

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.


Founder Points from Penny Program, 1998.


  • Other Interests

    Ping pong/table tennis, tennis, craps.