Lisa Leslie awarded 2013 BET Honors Award

caines | 2/21/2013, 4:30 a.m.

Female pioneer honored for career in athletics

Three-time WBNA MVP and four-time Olympic gold medal winner Lisa Leslie is excited to be among the recipients of the 2013 BET Honors set to air during Black History Month, on Feb. 11, at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. This year's sponsors include the U.S. Army (Awards for Athletics Lisa Leslie), Allstate (Award for Education T.D. Jakes), AT&T (Entrepreneur Award Clarence Avant),Lexus (Award for Service Halle Berry) and Pantene (Award for Musical Arts Chaka Khan). Proceeds from BET Honors 2013 will benefit Life Pieces to Masterpieces, Inc., an organization that provides opportunities for Black boys and young men in greater D.C. by developing and unlocking their potential and empowering them to transform their lives and communities. Leslie, the first player to ever dunk in a WBNA game, was considered a pioneer and cornerstone of the league during her WNBA career. It makes sense that she set another precedent by becoming the first former WNBA player to become a business partner and team ambassador as a co-owner of her former team, Los Angeles Sparks. With my investment in the Sparks, my basketball career has truly come full circle, says Leslie. Leslie has also worked as a sports commentator for NBC, Fox Sports and ESPN to name a few. Currently, she is an ABC Sports Zone commentator with Michael Cooper and Rob Fukuzaki. In March 2012, she launched the Lisa Leslie Basketball & Leadership Academy. The academy delivers exclusive year round basketball skills training for girls and boys between the ages of seven and 17 and instills discipline, mental toughness and the qualities needed to win in the game of life. This year in conjunction with Viewpoint School in Calabasas, Leslie will conduct the academy where she'll be hands on providing elite skills training comparable to that of the pros. TheAcademywill incorporate principles that will instill discipline, positive values and beliefs essential to becoming a successful student-athlete, helping them to be equipped with the life skills they need to compete in the classroom, on the court, and in life. Some of the life skills topics will include; Volunteerism: Everyone's Role Model; Media Training and Interviewing Skills and Discipline, Discipline, Discipline: What It Takes to Achieve Your Dreams. "I look forward to using basketball as a platform to enhance the lives of our youth by instilling characteristics essential to becoming successful in life," says Leslie. Wife, mother, author, sports analyst, motivational speaker and entrepreneur Leslie is married to Michael Lockwood are they are the proud parents to Lauren and MJ. Miami Times staff report