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Lisa Leslie

One of the faces of the launch of the WNBA in 1997, Lisa Leslie helped to make the birth of the WNBA possible with her popularity and her commitment growing the game. Prior to kicking off her string of four Olympic gold medals in 1996, she was a member of the historic 1995-96 USA Basketball Women’s National Team that tallied a 52-0 record and traveled more than 100,000 miles and to seven countries while preparing for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Leslie won four-straight gold medals as a member of the 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Teams and also claimed gold medals at the 1998 and 2002 FIBA World Cups.

She is a three-time WNBA MVP who won two WNBA championships over the course of 11 WNBA seasons. She was the first player to dunk in a WNBA game, and she was inducted into the Naismith and Women’s Basketball Halls of Fame in 2015 and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame in 2019.

Leslie’s individual performance often was a difference maker between a U.S. win and loss. Earning her first Olympic gold medal in 1996 at 24, she led the team in scoring (19.5 ppg.). Leslie went on to lead the USA in scoring in 2000 (15.8 ppg.) and 2004 (15.6 ppg.). She remained a double-digit scorer in 2008 with 10.1 points per game as the U.S. team’s oldest member at 36. She is one of just five U.S. women to have played in four or more Olympic basketball competitions. Further, she went 32-0 in Olympic games and averaged 15.3 ppg., 7.5 rpg. and 1.2 bpg. in her Olympic career.

Halls of Fame:

  • Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2015).
  • Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (2015).
  • U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee Hall of Fame (2019).

USA Basketball Notes

  • Honors: 1993, 1998 and 2002 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year; 2002 FIBA World Cup MVP.
  • Gold Medals: 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games; 1998, 2002 FIBA World Cups; 1994 Goodwill Games; 1993 World Cup Qualifying Tournament; 1992 R. William Jones Cup; 1991 World University Games.
  • Bronze Medal: 1994 World Cup.
  • International Invitational Titles: 2008 FIBA Diamond Ball Tournament, 2002 Opals World Challenge, 1999 U.S. Olympic Cup, 1999 USA Basketball International Invitational, 1996 International Basketball Challenge, 1996 Opals World Challenge.
  • International Invitational Second Place Finish: 2008 Good Luck Beijing Tournament.
  • One of only six of USA Basketball's four-time Olympians (Carmelo Anthony, Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings, Teresa Edwards, Diana Taurasi).
  • Began her USA Basketball career in 1989, was called up to the USA National Team for the 1993 World Cup Qualifying Tournament and capped her 19-year USA career in 2008 with a fourth Olympic gold medal.
  • USA Basketball teams with Leslie on the roster combined for an overall 220-14 (.940) record, 10 gold medals and six international invitational tournament titles.
  • Went 32-0 in Olympic games and averaged 15.3 ppg., 7.5 rpg. and 1.2 bpg. in her Olympic career.
  • In 2008, started all eight games and averaged 10.1 ppg. and 7.0 rpg. en route to her fourth Olympic gold.
  • Ahead of the 2008 Olympics, helped the USA to a 3-0 record and a first-place finish at the FIBA Diamond Ball Tournament.
  • Aided the USA to a 4-2 mark and the silver medal at the 2008 Good Luck Beijing Tournament.
  • Returned to the court after taking a year off to give birth to her daughter, Lauren, for the 2007 USA College Tour and posted eight points, 10 boards and a pair of assists in the USA's opening contest against Maryland on Oct. 31.
  • Started all eight games of the 2007 College Tour and averaged 14.1 ppg., 8.1 rpg. and 2.4 bpg.
  • In 2004 led the U.S. team in scoring, both during its exhibition schedule and at the '04 Athens Olympics. In leading the squad to the gold medal stand, averaged team-highs of 15.6 ppg. and 8.0 rpg.
  • Closed out her third Olympic competition ranking as the USA's all-time leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker after compiling 407 points, 185 rebounds and 25 blocked shots in three Olympic Games (1996, 2000 and 2004); also sits atop the list for a single competition for blocked shots with 14 in '04.
  • In 2002 competed in her third World Cup and walked away with the MVP award. Leading the U.S. squad in scoring and rebounding, she ranked fourth among all competitors and tied for third in rebounds with averages of 17.2 ppg. and 8.1 rpg.
  • Posted double-digit scoring averages in every major international event she has competed.
  • Leading scorer and rebounder of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team that rolled to an 8-0 record and won the gold medal in Sydney; also led the 1999-2000 USA National Team to a 38-2 record, along with the 1999 U.S. Olympic Cup and the USA Basketball International Invitational titles, leading up to the games.
  • Leading scorer of the gold medal winning 1998 USA World Cup Team which finished with a perfect 9-0 record and was named the 1998 USA Basketball Team of the Year. Prior to the start of the Worlds, aided the U.S. to a 12-1 record in its 13-game 1998 pre-World Cup tour.
  • Finished as the leading scorer of the gold medal winning 1996 USA Olympic and the historic 1995-96 USA Basketball National teams that compiled a combined 60-0 record and were named the 1996 U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Basketball Team of the Year.
  • Was a member of the 1999 USA Basketball Women's Winter European Tour Team that compiled a 4-1 record.
  • Competed on the 1989 USA Junior World Championship team, toured Canada with the 1990 USA Junior National Team and won gold on the 1991 USA World University Games Team.
  • Was the youngest participant at the 1992 U.S. Olympic Trials.

USA Basketball Records

  • Among U.S. Olympic single-game leaders, ranks first in points (35 vs. Japan in 1996) and field goals made (16 vs. Japan in 1996).

  • Owns the top two spots and is tied for third for U.S. Olympic single-competition points scored with 156 in 1996, 126 in 2000 and 125 in 2004, which is tied with Diana Taurasi, who scored 125 points in 2016; lists first and tied for fifth for most points averaged (19.5 in 1996 and 15.8 in 2000); fourth and fifth for most rebounds (64 in 2004 and 63 in 2000); first and third for most blocked shots (14 in 2004 and 11 in 2008) and first and tied for third for most blocked shots averaged (1.8 in 2004 and 1.4 in 2008).

  • In U.S. Olympic career records, is tied for first for games played (32), lists first for points (488) and rebounds (241), third for points averaged (15.3) and rebounds averaged (7.5), and first for blocked shots (37) and blocked shots averaged (1.2).

  • In the USA World Cup record books, owns the record for most field goals attempted (20 vs. Russia in 2002), is tied for first for highest field goal percentage (1.000, 6-6 FGs vs. Japan in 1998).

  • For USA World Cup single competitions, ranks second and third for points scored (155 in 2002 and 154 in 1998), second and fifth for rebounds (79 in 1998 and 73 in 2002) and fifth for points averaged (17.2 in 2002) and rebounds averaged (8.8 in 1998).

  • Ranks first among all-time USA World Cup career record holders for points (393) and rebounds (190) and third for blocked shots (17).

Professional Notes:

  • Signed: by the WNBA and assigned to the Los Angeles Sparks on Jan. 22, 1997.
  • WNBA MVP: 2001, 2004, 2006
  • WNBA Finals MVP: 2001, 2002
  • WNBA Titles: 2001, 2002
  • All-WNBA first team: 1997, 2000-2004, 2006, 2008
  • All-WNBA second team: 1998, 1999, 2005, 2009
  • All-Star Game MVP: 1999, 2001, 2002
  • All-Star Games: 1999-2003, 2005, 2006, 2009
  • WNBA All-Decade Team: 1997-06
  • WNBA Top 15 Players of All-Time: 2011
  • WNBA Top 20@20: 2016
  • Defensive Player of the Year: 2004, 2008
  • WNBA All-Defensive first team: 2006, 2008
  • All-Defensive second team: 2005, 2009
  • No. 9 jersey was retired by the Los Angeles Sparks on Aug. 10, 2010.
  • First WNBA player to reach 6,000 points.
  • Among all-time WNBA leaders (as of 8/5/2020), ranks seventh for regular season points (6,263), fourth for rebounds (3,307) and rebounds per game (9.1), second for blocked shots (822) and third for blocks per game (2.3).
  • Gave birth to her daughter Lauren Jolie Lockwood on June 15, 2007, and missed the entire 2007 WNBA season.
  • Finished the 2002 season as one of only two players to average a double-double after posting averages of 16.9 ppg. and 10.4 rpg.
  • Became the first person to dunk in a WNBA game after doing so against the Miami Sol on July 30, 2002.
  • Was a member of the 1998 and 1997 WNBA All-Star teams that toured Brazil and Europe, respectively.
  • Competed during the 1994-95 season in Alcamo, Italy, for Sicilgesso, averaged 22.6 ppg. and 11.7 rpg.; also played in Russia in 2006-07.

College Notes

  • During her four years, the University of Southern California posted an 89-31 overall record, made four NCAA Tournaments, advanced as far as the Elite Eight in 1992 and 1994 and won one Pacific 10 Conference championship.
  • Unanimously voted the 1994 National Player of the Year as a senior and earned 1991 National Freshman of the Year honors in her rookie season.
  • Earned All-America honors in 1992, 1993 and 1994 and was named to the All-Pacific-10 Conference first team all four years, becoming the first player in Pac-10 history to receive all-conference first team honors four times.
  • Named as the 1991 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year.

Personal Notes

  • Hails from Inglewood, California, and played her prep career at Morningside High School.
  • Married to Michael Lockwood Nov. 5, 2005; the couple have two children, Lauren and Michael.
  • The daughter of Christine Leslie-Espinoza has two sisters and four half-brothers.
  • In Oct. 1998, dedicated the Lisa Leslie Sports Complex, which includes a 42,000 square foot court with 12 baskets, at Morningside High.
  • Earned 2001 Sportswoman of the Year honors in the team category from the Women's Sports Foundation.

USA Basketball Statistics

TEAM G/S FGM-FGA PCT 3PM-3PA PCT FTM-FTA PCT REB/AVG PTS/AVG AST BLK STL
08 OLY 8/8 38-66 .576 0-0 .--- 5-12 .417 56/ 7.0 81/ 10.1 4 11 9
08 OLYx 3/3 12- 28 .429 0-0 .--- 6-8 .750 17/5.7 30/10.0 3 0 3
08 WNT 6/6 37-79 .468 0- 4 .000 14-21 .667 47/ 7.8 88/ 14.7 9 5 2
07 COLL 8/ 8 39- 88 .443 0- 0 .--- 35- 48 .729 65/ 8.1 113/ 14.1 27 19 13
04 OLY 8/ 8 57- 97 .588 0- 2 .000 11- 15 .733 64/ 8.0 125/ 15.6 11 14 8
04 WNT 10/10 63- 106 .594 1- 4 .250 40- 57 .702 79/ 7.9 167/ 16.7 11 11 15
02 WC 9/ 9 67- 128 .523 1- 5 .200 20- 28 .714 73/ 8.1 155/ 17.2 9 8 18
02 WCX 2/ 2 7- 18 .389 0- 2 .000 4- 6 .667 17/ 8.5 18/ 9.0 0 2 1
02 WNT 1/ 0 13- 22 .591 1- 2 .500 3- 4 .750 10/ 10.0 30/ 30.0 3 2 4
00 OLY 8/ 8 48- 98 .490 3- 7 .429 27- 39 .692 63/ 7.9 126/ 15.8 11 8 9
99-00 WNT 37/35 217-388 .559 5- 15 .333 134-163 .822 232/ 6.3 573/ 15.5 63 45 46
99 WNT 5/ 5 23- 44 .523 0- 1 .000 9- 14 .643 36/ 7.2 55/ 11.0 6 2 6
98 WC 9/ 9 64- 122 .525 0- 1 .000 26- 35 .743 79/ 8.8 154/ 17.1 16 8 15
98 WCx 13/12 90- 166 .542 1- 7 .143 52- 68 .765 103/ 7.9 233/ 17.9 26 25 17
96 OLY 8/ 8 64- 98 .653 0- 1 .000 28- 44 .636 58/ 7.3 156/ 19.5 19 3 9
*95-96 WNT 49/42 325-563 .577 12-31 .387 190-253 .751 344/ 7.0 852/ 17.4 80 61 59
94 WC 8/ 1 31- 54 .574 0- 0 .--- 22- 31 .710 38/ 4.8 84/ 10.5 11 1 4
94 GWG 4/ 4 28- 39 .718 0- 0 .--- 16- 23 .696 29/ 7.3 72/ 18.0 1 4 2
93 WCQ 7/ 6 52- 84 .619 0- 2 .000 25- 30 .833 46/ 6.6 129/ 18.4 4 3 19
92 JC 8/ - 36- 62 .581 0- 0 .--- 24- 28 .857 38/ 4.8 96/ 12.0 0 10 11
91 WUG 8/ - 42- 90 .467 0- 0 .--- 20- 30 .667 35/ 4.4 104/ 13.0 7 4 12
89 JWC 7/ - 37- 60 .617 0- 0 .--- 19- 28 .679 49/ 7.0 93/ 13.3 1 21 8
Totals* 226/184 1390-2500 .556 24-84 .286 730-985 .742 1578/7.0 3534/15.6 322 267 290

NOTE: Starts are unavailable for Leslie's USA Basketball games played from 1989-92.

* The 1995-96 USA Basketball Women's Senior National Team played 52 games, however, statistics for three of the team’s games against Russia are not available. Therefore, Leslie's game total of 229 reflects all games played for USA Basketball, other than the 1990 USA Junior Select Team, all other statistics are for 226 games. Stats are unavailable for the 1990 USA Junior Select Team, and it’s unknown how many of those games Leslie played. Therefore, the 2-2 record of that team in a four-game series against a Canada junior team, is not reflected anywhere in her stats/career totals.

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