Kristi Toliver’s Career Speaks Volumes About Life As A Women’s Basketball Player

Dave Sheinin of The Washington Post follows the taxing schedule of Pro Ambassador and WNBA Star Kristi Toliver, who plays professional basketball not only in multiple leagues, but in multiple countries.  The article illustrates the economic gulf between men’s and women’s professional sports, and demonstrates the resilience Toliver possesses to be a top competitor.

People have been comparing Toliver to Stephen Curry, the star point guard for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, for years. They share everything from their physical appearances to their NBA pedigrees (Toliver’s father is a former NBA referee, Curry’s a former NBA guard) to their games (both are natural scorers and pinpoint shooters despite playing point guard). They both turned pro in the same year, 2009.

But the comparison stops when it comes to money. Curry, like Toliver an all-American as a collegian and a one-time all-star as a pro, signed a four-year $12.7 million contract with the Warriors after the draft and another four-year $44 million deal last year.

Toliver, meanwhile, made less than $50,000 her first season in the WNBA, and in this, her sixth season, is making the WNBA maximum of $107,500. In other words, Curry makes more in one game (roughly $130,000) than Toliver — or any WNBA player, for that matter — makes for a full WNBA season.

“You think about it sometimes — how much these guys are making and just the lifestyles they get to have. They get to stay in the States. Yeah, obviously if we could switch places, I’m sure all of us would do it,” Toliver said. “But that’s not the reality that we live in.”

You can read the full article here.