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. Past Winners

2021 2021 Preseason Watch List



Player Name School
Queen Egbo Baylor
Hannah Gusters Baylor
Sara Hamson BYU
Olivia Nelson-Ododa Connecticut
Jade Williams Duke
Kristin Scott Iowa State
Ameshya Williams Jackson State
Ayoka Lee Kansas State
Elissa Cunane NC State
Kate Cain Nebraska
Janelle Bailey North Carolina
Shakira Austin Ole Miss
Eleah Parker Penn
Nancy Mulkey Rice
Antoinette Lewis South Alabama
Aliyah Boston South Carolina
Kamilla Cardoso Syracuse
Charli Collier Texas
Ila Lane UC Santa Barbara
Elizabeth Kitley Virginia Tech

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
2020 Aliyah Boston University of South Carolina
2019 Megan Gustafson University of Iowa
2018 A'ja Wilson University of South Carolina