Kristi Renee Toliver (born January 27, 1987) is an American-Slovak[2] professional basketball player for the Washington Mystics of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). During her rookie season in the WNBA, Toliver signed an endorsement deal with Nike.[3]

Kristi Toliver
Kristi Toliver in 2019 (cropped).jpg
Toliver in 2019
No. 20 – Washington Mystics
PositionPoint guard / Shooting guard
LeagueWNBA
Personal information
Born (1987-01-24) January 24, 1987 (age 32)
Harrisonburg, Virginia[1]
NationalityAmerican / Slovak
Listed height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Listed weight130 lb (59 kg)
Career information
High schoolHarrisonburg (Harrisonburg, Virginia)
CollegeMaryland (2005–2009)
WNBA draft2009 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3rd overall
Selected by the Chicago Sky
Playing career2009–present
Career history
2009Chicago Sky
2009–2010Raanana Hertzeliya
2010MKB Euroleasing Sopron
20102016Los Angeles Sparks
2010–2011Samsun Canik Belediyesi
2011–2014Dynamo Moscow
2014–2018UMMC Ekaterinburg
2017–presentWashington Mystics
Career highlights and awards
Stats at WNBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

High schoolEdit

Toliver was born in Harrisonburg, Virginia to George Toliver and Peggy Toliver. Her father is a former NBA referee. Kristi graduated from Harrisonburg High School in 2005. During her high school career, Toliver was named a McDonald's All-American, Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-American, Parade All-American, EA Sports All-American, and USA Today All-USA Basketball Team member. She was also the Virginia State Gatorade Player of the Year and Virginia Ms. Basketball. She participated in the 2005 WBCA High School All-America Game[4] and 2005 McDonald's All-American Game.

CollegeEdit

A standout player from the University of Maryland, Toliver was known for her ability to perform under pressure. In the 2006 National Championship game, Toliver, then a freshman, hit a game-tying three-pointer with only seconds remaining to force overtime against favored Duke, leading to a Maryland win and the school's first national championship in women's basketball.[5]

StatisticsEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2005–06 Maryland 33 24 28.8 .407 .404 .891 2.6 4.4 0.7 0.2 11.6
2006–07 Maryland 34 32 26.7 .490 .447 .877 2.4 4.7 1.1 0.1 12.3
2007–08 Maryland 37 37 34.4 .444 .371 .860 3.4 7.4 1.5 0.1 17.1
2008–09 Maryland 35 35 35.1 .449 .416 .857 3.2 4.9 1.3 0.3 18.4
Career 139 128 31.4 .447 .408 .866 2.9 5.4 1.1 0.2 15.0

WNBA careerEdit

 
Toliver during the 2017 WNBA Semifinals

In the 2009 WNBA draft, the Chicago Sky selected Toliver with the third pick.[6] In her rookie season with the Sky, Toliver came off the bench averaging 7.6 points per game in 27 games and was ranked second in the league in three-point shooting.[7]

Toliver was traded to the Los Angeles Sparks just before the start of the 2010 season in exchange for a 2011 second round draft pick.[8]

In her first season with the Sparks, Toliver was the backup point guard on the roster behind Ticha Penicheiro. She averaged 8.6 points per game in 34 games.

In the 2012 season with the departure of Penicheiro, Toliver became the starting point guard for the Sparks and had a breakout season. In the month of May, Toliver hit a game winning 3-pointer at the buzzer against the Tulsa Shock.[9] She was the Western Conference Player of the Month for August, averaged a career-high 17.5 points per game, was ranked 9th in three-point field goal percentage, was named to the All-WNBA Second Team and won the WNBA Most Improved Player Award. Her offensive performance continued in the playoffs, where she averaged 20 points per game in 4 games. The Sparks were eventually eliminated in a 2-game sweep by the Minnesota Lynx in the conference finals.

In 2013, Toliver re-signed with the Sparks to a multi-year deal once her rookie contract with the Sky expired.[10] With the acquisition of Lindsey Harding, Toliver became the starting shooting guard for the Sparks. During the season, Toliver was named a WNBA All-Star for the first time in her career, while averaging 14.1 points per game in all 34 games.

 
Toliver attempts a steal from Lindsay Whalen in 2017

During the 2015 season, Toliver was assigned back to the point guard position after Harding was waived. In a regular season game win against the Tulsa Shock, Toliver set a Sparks scoring franchise record with 43 points, surpassing Lisa Leslie's 41 points. She finished the season averaging 12.4 points per game.

In the 2016 season, the Sparks finished 26-8 with the second seed, and defeated Chicago 3-1 in the conference semi-finals. Toliver was ranked 4th in three-point field goal percentage while averaging 13.2 points per game during the regular season. On June 24, 2016, Toliver scored a season-high 25 points along with 7 three-pointers in a regular season game win against the Minnesota Lynx.[11] With a supporting cast of Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike, Toliver won her first WNBA championship with the Sparks as they defeated the Minnesota Lynx 3-2 in the Finals.

Toliver is currently the Sparks franchise leader in three-point field goal percentage and free-throw percentage.[12]

In February 2017, Toliver signed with the Washington Mystics in free agency.[13] On May 14, 2017, Toliver made her debut for the Mystics, scoring 8 points along with 4 assists in an 89-74 victory over the San Antonio Stars.[14] On July 19, 2017, with Tayler Hill and Elena Delle Donne sidelined with injuries, Toliver scored a season-high 29 points while hitting 7 three-pointers in a 100-96 overtime win against the Atlanta Dream after coming back from a 21-point deficit.[15] The Mystics secured a playoff berth as the number 6 seed in the league with an 18-16 record. In the first-round elimination game, the Mystics defeated the Dallas Wings 86-76 with Toliver scoring 16 points.[16] In the second round elimination game, the Mystics advanced to the semi-finals after defeating the number 3-seeded New York Liberty, 82-68, making it the first time in franchise history where the Mystics had advanced past the second round. Toliver scored 32 points in the win while scoring 17 of them in the third quarter and made a WNBA-record 9 three-pointers.[17] In the semi-finals, the Mystics were defeated by the Minnesota Lynx in a 3-game sweep.

On May 30, 2018, Toliver scored a season-high 30 points in a 103-95 victory against the Phoenix Mercury.[18] Later on in the 2018 season, Toliver was voted into the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game, making it her second all-star appearance. Toliver finished off the season with 13.9 points per game with career-highs in free throw shooting and minutes. The Mystics finished as the number three seed in the league with a 22-12 record, receiving a bye to the second round elimination game. They would defeat the Los Angeles Sparks 96-64, advancing to the semi-finals for the second year in a row. In the semi-finals, they defeated the Atlanta Dream in five games, advancing to the WNBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. The Mystics were swept in the Finals against the Seattle Storm.

On July 24, 2019, Toliver scored a season-high 32 points in a 79-71 victory over the Minnesota Lynx.[19] Toliver would be voted into the WNBA All-Star game, making it her third all-star appearance. A few weeks after the all-star break, Toliver would miss the rest of the regular season with a knee injury. Despite her injury, the Mystics finished as the number 1 seed in the league with a 26-8 record, receiving a double-bye to the semi-finals. Toliver would return from injury in the playoffs for Game 1 off the bench against the Las Vegas Aces in the semi-finals, helping the Mystics gain a 1-0 lead.[20] She would continue to be on minutes restriction for the duration of the series until Game 4. The Mystics defeated the Aces 3-1 to advance to the WNBA Finals for the second year in a row. Against the Connecticut Sun, the Mystics won the WNBA Finals in five games, earning Toliver her second WNBA championship.

Overseas careerEdit

 
Toliver playing in Moscow, 2013

In the 2009-10 off-season, Toliver spent the first portion of the off-season in Israel playing for Raanana Hertzeliya.[21] In the second portion of the off-season, Toliver played in Hungary for MKB Euroleasing Sopron. In the 2010-11 off-season, Toliver played in Turkey for Samsun Canik Belediyesi. From 2011-2014, Toliver played three off-seasons in Russia for Dynamo Moscow, winning back-to-back championships with the team in 2013 and 2014. From 2014-2016, Toliver has played for UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia for two off-seasons and had won back-to-back championships with the team in 2015 and 2016. Toliver played with teammate, Candace Parker in her first-offseason with the team. As of August 2016, Toliver had re-signed with UMMC Ekaterinburg for the 2016-17 off-season and won her third consecutive championship with the team.[22] In 2017, Toliver re-signed again with UMMC Ekaterinburg for the 2017-18 off-season and won her fourth consecutive Russian League championship with the team.

InternationalEdit

Toliver was a member of the Slovakian women's national basketball team in the EuroBasket Women 2015 qualification tournament in 2014 after receiving her Slovak citizenship.[23][24][25][26] The team finished first place in Group A to qualify for the EuroBasket Women 2015 tournament, where they finished 9th place with a 3-4 record, missing out on a spot in the Olympic qualifying tournament for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

NBA coaching careerEdit

On October 16, 2018, Toliver became a full-time assistant coach for the Washington Wizards.[27]

WNBA career statisticsEdit

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game  RPG  Rebounds per game
 APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
 TO  Turnovers per game  FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 Bold  Career high League leader
Denotes seasons in which Toliver won a WNBA championship

Regular seasonEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TO PPG
2009 Chicago 27 0 14.3 .453 .444 .913 1.4 1.9 0.4 0.1 1.6 7.6
2010 Los Angeles 34 0 20.7 .438 .349 .815 2.2 1.3 0.6 0.1 1.4 8.6
2011 Los Angeles 32 17 23.6 .423 .427 .907 1.9 2.9 0.7 0.0 2.0 11.2
2012 Los Angeles 34 33 31.5 .491 .424 .901 3.2 4.9 1.3 0.1 3.6 17.5
2013 Los Angeles 34 34 30.0 .457 .383 .831 2.6 3.4 1.3 0.1 1.9 14.1
2014 Los Angeles 27 21 28.5 .442 .393 .843 2.1 4.1 1.1 0.0 1.7 11.8
2015 Los Angeles 28 28 30.9 .449 .384 .903 2.3 3.7 0.8 0.0 2.2 12.4
2016 Los Angeles 33 33 32.1 .426 .424 .889 2.6 3.7 0.8 0.0 1.3 13.2
2017 Washington 34 34 29.1 .407 .338 .867 2.0 3.4 0.6 0.2 1.8 11.9
2018 Washington 33 33 33.0 .433 .360 .918 2.3 4.4 1.2 0.0 2.1 13.9
2019 Washington 23 23 29.5 .494 .360 .857 2.9 6.0 1.1 0.0 2.0 13.0
Career 11 years, 3 teams 339 260 27.7 .446 .387 .881 2.3 3.6 0.9 0.0 2.0 12.4

PostseasonEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TO PPG
2010 Los Angeles 2 0 22.5 .545 .600 1.000 0.0 4.0 0.5 0.0 3.0 8.0
2012 Los Angeles 4 4 34.3 .527 .417 .850 3.0 1.8 0.8 0.2 3.7 20.0
2013 Los Angeles 3 3 30.3 .289 .063 1.000 4.0 3.0 2.0 0.3 1.6 10.7
2014 Los Angeles 2 2 32.5 .409 .111 .667 1.5 6.5 0.5 0.0 2.0 10.5
2015 Los Angeles 3 3 29.5 .367 .385 .750 1.7 3.0 1.0 0.0 2.3 10.0
2016 Los Angeles 9 9 32.3 .405 .414 .852 2.0 3.0 1.4 0.1 1.4 12.8
2017 Washington 5 5 31.9 .375 .405 1.000 2.4 4.2 0.8 0.4 2.4 17.8
2018 Washington 9 9 36.7 .388 .234 .842 2.6 4.4 1.1 0.0 2.3 13.9
2019 Washington 9 6 31.8 .436 .396 .875 1.7 5.2 0.2 0.0 2.2 14.2
Career 9 years, 2 teams 46 41 32.5 .406 .337 .870 2.2 3.9 0.9 0.1 2.2 13.8

HonorsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Kristi Toliver - Washington Mystics - Women's National Basketball Association". Yahoo Sports.
  2. ^ "Kristi Toliver's career as a competitive flopper speaks volumes about life as a women's basketball player - The Washington Post". Women's Basketball DAILY.
  3. ^ Powell, Camille (June 20, 2009). "Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver Adjust to WNBA Life". The Washington Post.
  4. ^ "WBCA High School All-America Game Box Scores". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  5. ^ "Maryland Rallies Past Duke In OT, 78–75". Retrieved July 6, 2009.
  6. ^ "WNBA.com: Maryland Backcourt Mates Go Back-to-Back". www.wnba.com.
  7. ^ "League Leaders". WNBA.com. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  8. ^ "Kristi Toliver's Father-Daughter 'Basketball Connection' Still Evolving With Her WNBA Career".
  9. ^ "L.A. Sparks 76, Tulsa Shock 75: The Value Of Rookie Riquna Williams' Ability To Create Her Own Shots".
  10. ^ "SPARKS: Sparks Sign Kristi Toliver To Multi-Year Contract". www.wnba.com.
  11. ^ "06/24/16: Los Angeles Sparks @ Minnesota Lynx - WNBA.com - Official Site of the WNBA".
  12. ^ "Kristi Toliver - WNBA.com - Official Site of the WNBA".
  13. ^ "Mystics sign Kristi Toliver, pick up another 3-point shooter". TheRecord. February 7, 2017.
  14. ^ "Delle Donne has 24 in Mystics debut, 89-74 win over Stars".
  15. ^ Wallace, Ava (July 19, 2017). "Kristi Toliver lets fly and Washington Mystics make huge rally to beat Atlanta Dream". The Washington Post.
  16. ^ "09/06/17: Dallas Wings @ Washington Mystics - WNBA.com - Official Site of the WNBA".
  17. ^ "Hometown Hero: Kristi Toliver's Record Performance Guides Mystics to Semifinals". WNBA.
  18. ^ [1][dead link]
  19. ^ Associated Press. "WNBA roundup: Kristi Toliver scores 32, Mystics beat Lynx before All-Star break | The Spokesman-Review". Spokesman.com. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  20. ^ Holton, Diamond (September 19, 2019). "Kristi Toliver has solid return for the Mystics in WNBA Playoff debut". Bullets Forever. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  21. ^ "Safsal, Information, Statistics and daily news about the all the Israeli Basketball Players, Teams and Leagues". www.safsal.co.il.
  22. ^ "2016-2017 WNBA Overseas Signings - Women's Basketball 24.7". August 22, 2016.
  23. ^ "5 Reasons to Watch in 2015: Los Angeles Sparks - WNBA.com - Official Site of the WNBA".
  24. ^ "Slovakian Basketball, Teams, Scores, Stats, News, Standings - eurobasket News".
  25. ^ Sheinin, Dave (August 1, 2014). "Kristi Toliver's career speaks volumes about life as a women's basketball player" – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  26. ^ Writer, DOUG FEINBERG AP Basketball. "Sparks return home after winning road trip".
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External linksEdit