Quick Facts About Lisa Leslie
|Name||Lisa Deshaun Leslie|
|Birth Name||Lisa Deshaun Leslie|
|Celebrated Name||Lisa Leslie|
|Date of Birth||July 07, 1972|
|Age||44 Years Old|
|Place Of Birth||Gardena, California.|
|Best Known For||WNBA, USA Basketball|
|University||University of Southern Carolina|
Lisa Deshaun Leslie, currently known as Lisa Leslie, is an ex-basketball player who is known for being a four-time Olympic Gold medalist and setting a benchmark in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She is a two times WNBA Champion, seven times All-Star, three times MVP and the first person to dunk in a WNBA game - the list can go on for a while.
She is currently a model, motivational speaker, sports analyst, author and entrepreneur and has been breaking stereotypes and encouraging young athletes and non-athletes to pursue their dreams.
Lisa Leslie was born on 7th July 1972 in Gardena, California. Thanks to her family genetics, Leslie grew up to become as tall as her mother, Christine Lauren Leslie who stood 6 feet 3 inch. And what better to add to the mix - her father, Walter Leslie was a semi-professional basketball player.
But it’s hard to argue that her father had
anything to do with her success, as a matter of fact, her father left her mom when
she lived in her mother’s womb. However, her mother remarried and Leslie has a
Pop-pop (as she likes to call her step-father) who is very close to her. She
has two sisters and a brother.
Lisa Leslie was invited by over 100 colleges before joining high school
While Lisa Leslie was in middle school, she was already 6.1 feet tall but she had not participated in any of the sports. She aspired to become a television reporter, especially a weatherwoman, back then.
She got the opportunity to discover her interest in basketball when a classmate asked for her help with the basketball team. Initially a left-handed player, Lisa gradually learned to play with her right hand as well and ultimately she became ambidextrous.
Lisa’s zeal for basketball continued even after being transferred to a junior high school without a girls’ basketball team. She began playing in the boys’ team and gathered success and confidence.
Lisa’s abilities stunned everyone in the school and even attracted many from outside. Her impressive performance invited an unbelievable number of recruiting letters from over a hundred colleges before she had even joined a high school. 14 years old Lisa received recruiting letters from Stanford University and the University of Tennessee as well.
In 1986, Lisa got enrolled at Morningside High School and started influencing its basketball team from the beginning. Whilst dominating in the Morningside High School games with her amazing performance on the basketball team, she also managed to play on the volleyball team. Moreover, she became a state qualifier in the high jump and the 400-meter run.
As a sophomore in high school, Lisa was the leading scorer in the team. She led her team to California State Championship in 1989 and was approached to play in the USA’s Junior World Championship.
Becoming the country’s top player, Leslie continued her studies from University of Southern California (USC). She played with the college team from 1990 to 1994 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. Leslie also holds a master’s degree in Business Administration received from the University of Phoenix.
Lisa Leslie continued to set and break records during her WNBA career
Lisa Leslie played 120 games during her college years and set the Pac-10 Conference (now called Pac-12 Conference) records for scoring (2,414 points) rebounding (1,214 boards) and blocked shots (321). At USC, she also holds the record for accumulating 95 blocked shots in a single season.
The first player in the Pac-10 history to play in the first team in entire college career, Lisa received the honor of All-Pac-10 in all four years. Other than this, she received Rookie of the Year Award 1991, National Freshman of the Year Award 1991, National Player of the Year 1994, and All-American Honors for three consecutive years from 1992.
WNBA was founded in 1996 and it began playing a year later. Lisa played in WNBA for the first time on 22 January 1997 after she was drafted by Los Angeles Sparks. However, it was not until 2001 that the team won the WNBA title and Lisa received the title of Sportswoman of the Year.
Lisa became the first person to dunk in WNBA on 30 July 2002. In the same year, she also became the first WNBA player to reach the milestone of over 3,000 career points. Los Angeles Sparks won the WNBA championship in 2002 as well.
Continuing to fascinate the viewers with her uncommon and unbeatable skills, Lisa broke records after records. She was the first player to reach 4,000 career points, 6,000 career points, 10,000 career PRA (points + rebounds + assists). She is the first WNBA player to dunk in an all-star game in 2005. She has appeared in four consecutive Olympic Games and has won four gold medals, setting the record to be the second female basketball player to win that many medals.
No wonder, Lisa has achieved so much from her basketball career. It’s not just records and gold medals that she is known for but some fierce rivalry. She had quite a beef with Lauren Jackson, an opponent from the Australian national team who ripped off her hair extensions during a game in 2000 Olympic. Later, in 2008, Leslie flaunted her gold medals from her previous victories on the award distribution ceremony where she was to receive a new one for her team’s victory against the Australian team. The act was frowned upon by the opponent as an act of poor sportsmanship.
Lisa ended her career a year later and made an official announcement of her retirement on 4 February 2009. By the end of her career, Lisa held 6,263 points, 3,307 rebounds, and 10,444 PRA.
After retiring from basketball, she has become a sports analyst and commentator for major TV networks. She has started modeling and acting, as a part of which she has been featured in various commercials and magazines like Vogue, Newsweek, etc. She is also a motivational speaker and has released an autobiography Don’t Let the Lipstick Fool You.
She has collected a net worth of $5 million till date.
Lisa Leslie met her husband through a random person's setup advice
Lisa Leslie was at the airport returning from a getaway with her parents when she met a man, a self-proclaimed fan of her, who wanted to set her up with his friend Michael Lockwood. Explaining about how the two of them can get along, the man insisted on giving him her number. Leslie kept declining the man until she was worn down by his persistence.
Consequently, Lisa got calls from the so-called friend of the so-called fan of her but she didn’t answer until the fourth time when she received a message that said, “I've called you three times. C'mon, you can at least call a brother back!" Lisa finally called him and talked for 8 hours straight.
They began calling each other every day for a month before meeting in person. Their meetings continued and they wedded in Maui on 5 November 2005. Their wedding was attended by 85 family and friends.
Lisa and her real estate developer husband stayed in Maui for 10 more days after the wedding to enjoy hiking, biking, visiting volcanoes, waterfall and more. Michael is also a pilot for United Parcel Service (UPS). He has two daughters from his previous relationship.
Lisa and Michael share two children, daughter Lauren Jolie Lockwood and son Michael Joseph Lockwood II. Lisa’s eldest child was born on 15 June 2007 and the younger one was born on 6 April 2010. Lisa had to take a year-long break from her basketball career when she was pregnant with her daughter.
Talking with an interviewer, Lisa stated, “I love being a mom because every day there's a new challenge. And as far as the love of my life, well, Michael's love for me has taught me the difference between having a man in your life versus a boy, and I couldn't be happier for that lesson and his love."
Lisa is an active user of social media sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, all of which have become means of sharing her special moments at work and with family. She has over 113K followers on Twitter and over 84.4K followers on Instagram.