Another honor for Lisa Leslie
Lisa Leslie will be inducted into the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2019, it was announced Monday. Leslie became the first Olympic basketball player to capture four consecutive gold medals, winning them in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. She will be honored and inducted with her class at an awards dinner scheduled to take place in Colorado Springs, the city of USA Basketball’s official headquarters, on November 1.
Leslie is one of eight individuals named to this year’s class. They join two legends, one special contributor, one coach and the 1998 U.S. Women’s Ice Hockey team to comprise the rest of the 13-member cohort.
Leslie and her 1996 Olympic team were both named finalists for the 2019 class in August. She acknowledged her appreciation on Instagram, posting a picture alongside former U.S. teammates Dawn Staley and Sheryl Swoopes.
Leslie, who was already previously inducted into Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as well as the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, is one of just four Olympic basketball players to have won four gold medals, joining Sue Bird, Teresa Edwards and Diana Taurasi. Leslie holds numerous Olympic records, including the top three spots for the most points scored by a U.S. woman in one competition. Leslie also holds the single game record for most points scored in a game (35) and the U.S. single competition record for points averaged (19.5 per game). She is the all-time U.S. record holder for points, posting 488 over four competitions. Furthermore, Leslie ranks fourth in points among all-time Olympic world leaders.
Along with her USA accolades and other Hall of Fame recognitions, Leslie acquired numerous honors during her WNBA playing career, all with the Los Angeles Sparks. Before retiring in 2009, she won two championships, three MVP awards and racked up eight all-star bids. She was named as one the WNBA’s top 15 players of all time in 2011, and as a member of the WNBA’s “20@20,” recognizing the best 20 players in the league’s history up to its 20th season, in 2016.
With USA Basketball, Leslie also won two FIBA World Cup gold medals in addition to the 2002 World Cup MVP. Leslie recently concluded her first season coaching Triplets in the Big3 basketball league, leading the team to a championship in its first season of existence.
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