In 2002, Lisa Leslie became the first WNBA player to dunk a basketball. Throughout her trailblazing career, she was many firsts: the first WNBA player to win the regular season MVP, the All-Star Game MVP and the playoff MVP in the same season. In 2002, she was the WNBA all-time leading scorer and was named MVP of the WNBA Championship.
Leslie grew up in Compton, California raised by a single mother who was an early role model in strength and femininity. Six-foot in sixth grade, people constantly asked Leslie if she played basketball. A self-proclaimed nerd, Leslie finally decided join her junior high team when she realized it could be a plus for her social life, and by eighth grade she had fallen in love with the sport and committed herself to the game.
At Morningside High School, Leslie led her team to two state championships and was recruited with a scholarship to play basketball at the University of Southern California where she set several Pac-10 conference records for points and rebounds and was named the 1994 National Player of the Year.
In 1996, Leslie made her first Olympic team and brought home gold. She went on to repeat gold medal Olympic wins in 2000, 2004, and 2008.
In 1997, Leslie became one of the WNBA's first players, joining the Los Angeles Sparks and leading an impressive career with the team scoring more than 6,200 points during her twelve years with the WNBA. In 2009, she retired but returned to the Sparks in 2011, not as a player, but as an investor and owner.