#BasketballDiaries: Lisa Leslie, A Role Model to Women
Lisa Leslie has had a decent career in Basketball. Former professional basketball player, born on July 7,1972 in Gardenia, California. She stood 6 feet tall in seventh grade and hated being asked if she was a basketball player. But after reluctantly picking up the sport in middle school, she was hooked. When she was in High School, she led her team in two state championships.
In her final year at University of Southern California, Leslie was named the 1994 National Player of the Year. This was just the beginning to her golden career.
She made her first trip to the Olympics in 1996 held in Atlanta, Georgia. There she helped the U.S. team take home the gold medal in women’s basketball. She has been one of those women basketball players who have worked hard to promote Basketball.
She joined the Los Angeles Sparks in 1997 and had an impressive career with the team. She has served the team with all her heart and mind, winning numerous championships. In 2001, she was the first WNBA player to win the regular season MVP, the All-Star Game MVP and the playoff MVP in the same season. By winning all these titles in a go, She has proved her worth in the Basketball world. Leslie also led the Los Angeles Sparks to two back-to-back WNBA Championships—in 2001 and 2002.
In addition to her outstanding performance with the Sparks, Leslie returned to Olympic competition three more times.
She helped the U.S. team win olympic gold in 2000 and in 2004. Lisa has always been an inspiration to women across the globe. A woman who has set a benchmark.
On a personal note, I still remember how guys used to bully me by saying – “Girls can’t play Basketball” and I used to quote Lisa. She holds the distinction of being the first woman in the league to make a slam-dunk during an official game. Leslie returned to her beloved Sparks team in 2011, but this time as an investor, not a player. She is now one of the team’s owners, and has also decided to share her knowledge and skills with others through the Lisa Leslie Basketball & Leadership Academy.
Apart from all these accomplishments, Leslie is also an author to her autobiography, “Don’t let Lipstick Fool you”. Since her retirement, she has also worked as a sports analyst. She mesmerizes us by her extra ordinary work ethic. She is a role model to all those women who want to do something really big in life. And trust me being a woman is never a drawback.