SI Vault
 
SHE WAS TRUCKIN'
Shelley Smith
February 19, 1990
Schoolgirl Lisa Leslie scored 101 points in the first half, and then the opposition went home
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
February 19, 1990

She Was Truckin'

Schoolgirl Lisa Leslie scored 101 points in the first half, and then the opposition went home

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2

"There were some sad times," says Lisa. "Mom had to travel so far and so long. But we understood she had to do it. It made me mature really fast. I had so much to do."

When school let out for summer vacations, Christine packed Lisa and her younger sister into the rig and drove across the country. Most of the time they all slept on a bunk in the back of the truck. "It was 36 inches wide," Christine says. "All of us would jam in there. We had to hold on to each other. That helps us now. We all hold on to each other in a lot of ways."

Lisa started playing basketball in the seventh grade, and by last season she was recognized as the best high school player in the nation. Last summer she starred on the U.S. Olympic junior national team that toured Spain. She has a 3.5 grade point average and has been class president three of her four years at Morningside. Recruited by hundreds of colleges, she says she has narrowed her choices to Long Beach State, Southern Cal and Notre Dame. In fact, women's basketball at the collegiate level has been praying for someone like Lisa to come along since Miller, a four-time All-America, finished at USC in 1986. So, no matter where she goes, everyone will benefit—except, of course, her opponent of the moment.

Lisa's performance against South Torrance did earn her a place in the record book in one category—most free throws made in a game. She converted 27 of 35 shots from the line. Lisa also converted 37 of her 56 field goal attempts in her 16-minute flurry. Looking back, she doesn't regret trying to break the record, only that she didn't make it. Of the South Torrance players, she says she's sorry if they feel bad.

"It wasn't personal," says Lisa. "They knew I was going for the record. I thought knowing that would take some of the hurt away."

1 2