Former WNBA star Lisa Leslie joins BIG3 as coach of upcoming expansion team
Leslie becomes the second female coach in Ice Cube's 3-on-3 league
The BIG3 is expanding from eight to 12 teams in 2019, and it'll have a Hall of Fame talent to lead one of its new franchises.
As the Associated Press reported and the 3-on-3 league confirmed Friday, former WNBA standout Lisa Leslie has signed on to coach an upcoming BIG3 expansion team starting this summer, bringing more than a decade of professional playing experience and a Basketball Hall of Fame resume to Ice Cube's league for mostly retired NBA stars.
Announced alongside the name of the expansion team she'll be coaching -- the Triplets, Leslie's addition marks the second female coach to join BIG3's ranks. Fellow Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman, who's also coached in the NBA and WNBA, led the league's Power team to a championship in 2018.
An eight-time WNBA All-Star, Leslie starred as one of the top women's basketball players of all time while playing for the Los Angeles Sparks from 1997-2009. Nationally recognized coming out of USC, she bested even her conference records from college after going pro, becoming the first woman to dunk in a WNBA game and the first person to score 3,000 -- and then all the way up to 6,000 -- career points. A repeat MVP who helped lead the Sparks to two titles, she remains the WNBA's all-time leader in rebounds, not to mention the Sparks' franchise record-holder for scoring.
Voted into the WNBA's Top 20@20 all-time list in 2016, Leslie made a name for herself outside of Los Angeles, too. Named to the USA women's junior national team at 17, she is one of just seven three-time Olympians to represent the United States and one of just two players with four career gold medals. Since retiring from the WNBA, she's also taken up modeling, become part-owner of the Sparks and appeared in various TV shows as an aspiring actress.
In 2019, as head coach of the Triplets, she'll help roll out BIG3's new format, which will feature an age limit lowered from 30 to 27 and showcase its 12 teams across 18 different cities.
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