From entering the WNBA to being one of the cornerstones of the league, former Women’s Basketball Player Lisa Leslie has shown the world her presence on the court and, most recently, the induction to the Hall of Fame.
At the Women?s Basketball Hall of Fame, which took place on June 13, Leslie stated that she is very excited about the induction. She noted that when it comes to success, it wasn?t just about the work that she put it; her family and coaches helped. She remarked that they have all been extremely supportive and proud of what she has accomplished over the course of her career.
During the 12 years she played in the WNBA, she averaged 17.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. She was considered one of the pioneers of the league and contributed to the Los Angeles Sparks.
?It?s been good for me. I think I can truly say I gave it my all,? said Leslie. ?I think if you look at points, I could have averaged 30 points but I felt like what type of teammate would I be? I was a giver type of teammate and I like to make people around me better. I never really got hung up on the numbers as much. Rebounding, blocking shots and being a great defender meant more to me.?
She started to play basketball at the age of 12 years old and worked extremely hard to get to where she is today. Before the WNBA had drafts, they placed players. The league was established in 1997, the year when Leslie was placed with the Los Angeles Sparks.
She was thrilled playing in her hometown and learning from the greats in the NBA such as Magic Johnson, Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant. She accomplished so much in the WNBA from winning MVPs, becoming an all- star and delivering championships. For her, playing for a United States basketball team and winning an Olympic gold medal are moments she cherishes.
?My whole career I?ve always said that the most special moment for me was winning the first Olympic gold medal in 1996 because it was here in the U.S.,? notes Leslie. ?Having 35,000 Americans chanting USA in the dome?it doesn?t really get any better than that.?
Although she retired from the game of basketball, her presence is still strong. She gave valuable advice to Sparks Star Candice Parker on taking care of her body and being a better player.
Making players better and being a role model is her legacy.
?What I think I?m most proud of about my legacy is just the reward that the game is giving me,? said Leslie. ?The ability to play and never have any major injuries and to be a role model for young girls and boys. To have had my family name on my back worn with a lot of pride and integrity means everything for me. I?m happy with that and I?m at peace.?