Leslie has enjoyed being role model

Updated: September 11, 2009, 11:39 PM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Lisa Leslie was honored by the Los Angeles Sparks and Magic Johnson before the start of her final regular-season home game Friday night.

"I'm here in L.A. to honor somebody who will be in the Hall of Fame," Johnson said. "This was a legend that was born right in front of our eyes."

Leslie, who announced that this would be her last season in February, played at nearby Morningside High School and at Southern California before joining the WNBA in 1997.

"I've had so many awards," Leslie said. "But my reward has been to be a role model for so many girls and boys. I hope I continue to give back to this organization and make sure this league is around for 50 more years."

Leslie also received praise from WNBA President Donna Orender during the ceremony before the game against the Minnesota Lynx.

"Her leadership and her passion have made her the leading icon in women's basketball today," Orender said.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press