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You can see Lisa Leslie's history-making 2002 slam dunk on YouTube. "Nobody, nowhere, no how has ever done it in the WNBA," crows the announcer. The crowd loses its collective mind. The six-foot-five Leslie leaps into the arms of a Los Angeles Sparks teammate.
When Leslie, now 39, was in middle school in Compton, California, there was no girls' basketball team, but that didn't stop her from becoming a star center at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She helped christen the Women's National Basketball Association and then ruled it for 12 years, snagging one accolade after another: eight-time All-Star, three-time MVP, two-time defensive player of the year, and one reputation as the best all-around player in the history of women's basketball. "My mom taught me the importance of responsibility and hard work," the now-retired Leslie has said. "Struggle is good."