Lisa Leslie and the word “champion” go hand in hand. She has four Olympic Gold medals (’96, ’00, ’04, ’08), and won a pair of WNBA championships with the Los Angeles Sparks (2001, 2002).
As a retired player, her focus has gone to becoming a champion for education.
It’s why she joined Doug Flutie, Clark Kellogg, Brandi Chastain and Barry Larkin — who embody “success, integrity, leadership, and a commitment to excellence” — as advisory board members of the Capital One Cup. NCAA Division I programs compete to earn points based on their Top 10 finishes in fall, winter and spring sport championships. The winning programs get a trophy and a combined $400,000 in scholarships at the end of the scholastic year.
“The Capital One Cup is awarded annually to each of the best men’s and women’s Division I college athletics programs in the country,” says the Capital One Cup’s website. “Points toward the Capital One Cup are earned and tracked throughout the year based on final standings of NCAA Championships and final official coaches’ polls. One winning men’s and one winning women’s program will be crowned after the completion of the final NCAA spring championships. Capital One will award a combined $400,000 in student-athlete scholarships and the Capital One Cup trophy to the winning schools at the ESPY awards in July.”
“It’s been great to team up with Capital One,” Leslie told BlackEnterprise.com. “It goes back to when I was an student-athlete, learning to take care of classroom first. They honor athletes bringing attention to the smaller sports, and get fans to rally behind all the sports, too.
“I found it to be a great fit me for because it’s not just attention to universities for bragging rights, but it’s great for the student athletes as well.”
Leslie says her inclination to support education began in high school when she got terrific grades in high school — and was extended as she evaluated the public schools where she lived for her children.