The Lisa Leslie Award

In the summer of 1997, the sport of women's basketball received another much-needed shot in the arm with the launch of the Women's National Basketball Association. The Los Angeles Sparks, the latest addition to the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown, landed Lisa Leslie from the University of Southern California. Leslie was the perfect match for the Hollywood set, blending beauty and grace with strength and athleticism like no one before. An eight-time All Star and two-time world champion, Leslie became the face of the WNBA. As she solidified her spot as the dominant center stateside, her stock rose with her success on the international stage, where she won four gold medals in Olympic competition. In 2002, Leslie gave Sparks fans a reason to get out of their seats when she became the first player to dunk in a WNBA game and then led the Sparks to the franchise's second championship, winning her second Finals MVP. The three-time league MVP retired as the all-time leading rebounder in WNBA history and was an eight-time First Team All-WNBA performer.

2018 Pre-Season Watch List



Player Name School
Kalani Brown Baylor
Azura StevensConnecticut
Becca JonesDrake
Erin MathiasDuke
Chatrice WhiteFlorida St.
Alyssa Rice Kentucky
Hallie ThomeMichigan
Teaira McGowan Mississippi State
Cierra PorterMissouri
Akela MaizeNC State
Vionise Pierre-LouisOklahoma
Kaylee Jensen Oklahoma State
Marie Gulich Oregon State
A'ja Wilson South Carolina
Alanna SmithStanford
Mercedes RussellTennessee
Khaalia HillsmanTexas A&M
Monique BillingsUCLA
Kristen Simon USC
Emily PotterUtah

Leslie Career Highlights

College
  • USC (1990-1994)
College Playing Highlights
  • Pac-10 Conference Championship
  • Four-time All-Pac 10 First Team (1991-1994)
  • Pac-10 Rookie of the Year (1991)
  • National Freshman of the Year (1991)
  • Naismith College Player of the Year (1994)
  • UBSWA Women’s National Player of the Year (1994)
  • Honda Sports Award (1994)
  • WBCA Player of the Year (1994)
  • WBCA All-American (1994)
  • USC’s single season record holder for blocked shots (95)
Pro
  • Los Angeles Sparks (1997 – 2009)
Pro Playing Highlights
  • WNBA MVP (2001, 2004, 2006)
  • WNBA Championship (2001, 2002)
  • WNBA Finals MVP (2001, 2002)
  • All-WNBA First Team (1997, 2000 – 2004, 2006, 2008)
  • All-WNBA Second Team (1998, 1999, 2005, 2009)
  • WNBA All-Star (1999-2003, 2005, 2006, 2009)
  • All-Star Game MVP (1999, 2001, 2002)
  • WNBA All-Decade Team (1997-2006)
  • WNBA Defensive Player of the Year (2004, 2008)
  • All-Defensive First Team (2006, 2008)
  • All-Defensive Second Team (2005, 2009)
  • 15-time WNBA Player of the Week
  • Four-time gold medal winner in the Summer Olympics (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008)

Past Winners

Year Player Name School
TBD