Write it down: Leslie to inspire on July 14

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

One of our favorite aspects of the Semoball Awards show, now in its fifth year, is connecting a speaker with the audience of local high school athletes.

The show is dedicated to the area's best athletes, who all are up for consideration for several different categories, including male and female athletes of the year as well as the best in several different sports.

But it's always a treat to be able to bring in an athlete to talk about their success, and more importantly, their trials.

This year's athlete is Lisa Leslie, a superstar from the WNBA, who retired in 2011. She's a Hall of Fame inductee and four-time gold medal Olympian.

Recently in an interview, Josh Mlot got to know Leslie a bit better.

Leslie, the first to dunk a basketball in a WNBA game, has begun new nonathletic endeavors, including real estate and movies. She attained an undergrad degree in communications and a masters in business, which helped her beyond basketball. But she calls her public speaking engagement her "spiritual gift." She is a big believer in writing down goals, staying hungry and achieving those goals.

"I wanted a better life for myself," she said. "I didn't want to stay living where I grew up. I wanted to be able to make money, have nice things and buy a house. From a standpoint of wanting to be successful, that hunger was amazing. It was the fire that burned within. It was, 'What do I have to do? OK, basketball. That's my vehicle to get from point A to point B.'

"Shooting 100 shots a day, getting in the gym, extra work. ... It was the key to my success."

Leslie will provide plenty of motivation for the athletes at the 2018 Semoball Awards on July 14 at the River Campus. Tickets are on sale at awards.semoball.com.

The Semoball Awards are presented by SoutheastHEALTH and sponsored by the Bank of Missouri (Official Bank Sponsor), SEMO ESPN Radio, rustmedia and the St. Louis Cardinals.

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