- Post 17 January 2013
- By Special to the Daily World
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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.
Hosted by Gabrielle Union, other recipients include music executive and entrepreneur Clarence Avant known to many as the "Godfather of Black Music," Academy Award winning actress Halle Berry, spiritual educator T.D. Jakes, 10-time Grammy award winner and international music icon Chaka Khan. There will be special performances by Alicia Keys, Eryka Badu, Wayne Brady, Mint Condition, Ledisi, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and the SOS Band.
BET HONORS has become a staple for the network, celebrating extraordinary African-Americans including Cicely Tyson, Jamie Foxx, Iman, Herbie Hancock, Whitney Houston, Queen Latifah, Sean "Diddy" Combs along with memorable past performances by Trey Songz, Ne-Yo, Yolanda Adams, Keyshia Cole, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige and Patti LaBelle.
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 African-American boys and young men in greater Washington, 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. She also became the first former WNBA player to become a business partner and team ambassador as a co-owner of her former team, the Los Angeles Sparks.
"With my investment in the Sparks, my basketball career has truly come full circle," said Leslie.
She has also worked as a sports commentator for NBC, Fox Sports and ESPN. Currently, she works as an ABC Sports Zone commentator with Michael Cooper and Rob Fukuzaki in Los Angeles.
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 the organizations says are 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. The Academy will 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," said Leslie.
Wife, mother, author, sports analyst, motivational speaker and entrepreneur Leslie is married to Michael Lockwood are they are the parents to Lauren and MJ.
For more information, visit www.lisaleslie9.com.