clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lisa Leslie: A Hall of Fame career worthy of mention

Lisa Leslie, a stalwart of the WNBA, gets her due tonight, as she will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame tonight.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

It's safe to say that if you pay attention to women's basketball, then you know who Lisa Leslie is.

If you don't know, then maybe you have noticed her in The Simpsons, Think Like a Man or Vogue magazine.

Leslie is a woman of many talents, however, tonight, Sept. 11, was recognized on the biggest basketball stage of all: The Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.

In case you're not a basketball person, we here at Swish Appeal are here to give you a rundown on her storied career.

As a high school basketball player at Morningside High School in Inglewood, CA, she started every game for her varsity team. She also led her team to the 1989 state championship.

On February 7, 1990, in her final varsity game, Leslie scored 101 points in the first half against South Torrance High School; four points short of the women's state record of 105 set by Cheryl Miller. She technically had the record; but due to South Torrance forfeiting the game at halftime, the four free throws she was awarded did not count.

After graduating high school, she attended the University of California, where she became the first athlete in Pacific 10 conference history to win Rookie of the Year and All-Pac 10 honors four years in a row. While at USC, she led her team to four Pac 10 conference appearances, one Pac 10 title and averaged 20.1 points per game. To this day, she still holds the school record for blocked shots, with 89.

From there, Leslie became a valued member of the United States women's Olympic basketball team. After her first gold medal win in 1996, she became one of the first females to join the first professional women's basketball league: the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).

She was drafted seventh overall in the inaugural WNBA allocation draft, by the Los Angeles Sparks. She would go on to have one of the most accomplished careers in WNBA history, and here are the stats to prove it:

a) two-time WNBA Champion (2001, 2002)

b) three-time WNBA Most Valuable Player

c) eight-time WNBA All-Star

d) first player to reach the 3,000, 4,000 and 6,000 point milestones

On July 30, 2002, Leslie also became the first woman to dunk in a professional game; she performed her feat against the Miami Sol. She retired from the game in 2009; leaving the WNBA as the first player to reach 10,000 PRA (points, rebounds and assists).

If you didn't recognize Lisa Leslie as a basketball player, now you have some background information.