The Washington Wizards announced Tuesday that WNBA All-Star Kristi Toliver will be an assistant coach for player development this season.
Toliver, 31, was part of the Wizards’ coaching staff during the 2018 NBA Summer League as well as training camp. The Washington Mystics’ guard will be a full-time assistant coach/player development. She joins David Adkins, Mike Terpstra and Maz Trakh on the back of the Wizards’ bench.
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime,” Toliver said on Tuesday. “When it came about, I wanted to be involved in any capacity that I could.”
“To me, you get everything that you earn, everything that you work for. I want young ladies to know – dream big, anything is possible as long as you put in the work and have a passion for what you do.”
The two-time all-star has been working with the team on ball-handling and has also coached the Wizards during five on five on five drills. Wizards head coach Scott Brooks is giving her the responsibility of managing a team.
Even though Brooks understands that neither he nor Toliver knows everything, he’s been pleased with what Toliver has accomplished thus far with the team.
“She’s done a great job,” Brooks said in a release. “Like I said, she’s very talented. I’m excited about having her and continuing to get to know her and her strengths. We all want to be better every day, and she has that mentality, as I have that mentality. I don’t know everything. She doesn’t know everything. But we can learn some things together.”
Toliver is the first active WNBA player to be on an NBA coaching staff and will be the third woman to join the NBA coaching ranks. Becky Hammon was recently promoted by the San Antonio Spurs and now will be on the front of the bench, alongside Gregg Popovich. In addition, Jenny Boucek, a longtime WNBA coach, spent last season on the Sacramento Kings’ coaching staff but was hired by the Dallas Mavericks in the offseason.
Even though Hammon and Nancy Lieberman, who also has coached in the NBA, played in the WNBA, they never held both positions at the same time.
Coach Toliver ✊ pic.twitter.com/w2uNH0kDFF
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) October 16, 2018