Lisa Leslie was born on July 7, 1972, in Los Angeles. She grew up without a father. Her mother played both roles in her immediate family. Her mother didn’t want to work for low-paying jobs, so she went into business herself. Lisa’s mother was 6’3 so it was little question that her and her sisters, Dionne and Tiffany would also be six-footers. Her & her family lived in Compton, and later moved to Carson.
During the school year, her mother Christine would be gone for weeks at a time, leaving the house-keeper to watch over the girls. Leslie’s Aunt Judy also helped watch the young girls. Lisa didn’t take advantage of her mother’s absentness, she did many household responsibilities. She was also doing plenty material things by the time she was 10. Lisa taller than 6’0 by seventh grade. Everyone asked her the same question “do you play ball?” She always answered with a yes. She picked basketball because she's talented, athletic and not to mention she is 6' 5. Lisa was asked that question so much it became annoying, she even thought about quitting and becoming a TV weather reporter.
That’s decision changed when the star of the junior high team talked Lisa into trying out. Of course she made the team starting as the center. Lisa loved playing basketball, as she improved many of her teammates looked to her to score and pass. Lisa began to get serious about basketball. Her favorite player was James Worthy player from the Lakers, a star who could shoot, rebound, play D and finish on the break. Lisa realized that being tall was not enough, so she began playing with her cousin, Craig, who helped her get better with her footwork and shooting. She was left handed, so she also began improving her right hand.
Lisa entered Morningside High School in Inglewood in 1986 and made Frank Scott’s varsity, starting every game. Lisa achieved her full height, 6-5, in her junior year, and assured her rep as the top high-school player in the city. By this time, she could dunk the ball in the open court. Lisa led her high-school to the state title in 1989. After her junior season, she was asked to play for Team USA’s Junior World Championship team. Lisa ranked high in the team scoring and rebounding that summer. During her senior year, Lisa became the top player in the country as Morningside won the state finals again. She averaged 27 points and 15 rebounds a game. In the 1990 finale against South Torrance, Scott told Lisa’s teammates to give her the ball whenever she was open. She was going for the mark of 69. In the first quarter, Lisa scored an easy 49 points. In the second quarter, she breezed past 52 more. Morningside held a 102-24 lead at halftime, and Lisa had 101 of those points. The fact that Lisa had good grades made it easy for her to choose whatever college she wanted, USC of course. Lisa made All-American her last three years with the Lady Trojans, was USA Basketball’s Player of the Year in 1993 as a junior, and won the Naismith Award as a senior.