Leslie's one-hand dunk in scrimmage is big deal to all but her

May 31, 1992|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Call it the quietest dunk in history.

With little fanfare and hardly any notice, Lisa Leslie, a 6-foot-5 center from Southern Cal who is trying out for a spot on the U.S. Olympic women's basketball team, dunked with one hand during one of Thursday's practice sessions at the Olympic Training Center.

"I took one dribble and went up. It wasn't planned. It was like, one, two and there I was," said Leslie, whose previous claim to fame was scoring 101 points in one half of a high school game in 1990.

Considering that only one woman -- West Virginia's Georgeann Wells -- has dunked in organized competition, the feat should have attracted immediate attention.

However, Leslie, the second youngest participant in the trials, handled it in such a low-key fashion that officials of USA Basketball only acknowledged the feat yesterday.

Leslie, a two-time All-Pacific 10 first-team selection, said she is capable of dunking in games and plans to do so when it's appropriate.

"Because I have the talent to do it, it separates me from other women's players," said Leslie. "I practice it, but it draws so much attention that sometimes I don't like to do it.

"First, you dunk and somebody wants to see you do it again. Then they go get their friends and a crowd develops. I just feel like a puppet entertaining people."

And, of course, Leslie became the center of attention yesterday, as a crowd of reporters flocked around to hear her recount her feat.

"Teresa Weatherspoon [a 1988 Olympian] was just jumping all over me," said Leslie. "They [the other players] have been talking to me."

* One of the 56 invitees, Rhonda Mapp, a 6-3 center from North Carolina State, has dropped out of the trials due to injury.

Mapp left the trials Friday with a stress fracture to her left tibia. Cheryl Miller, a member of the 1984 Olympic team, missed yesterday's early session after spraining her ankle Friday night.

* Former Georgia All-American Teresa Edwards and Lynette Woodard, a former member of the Harlem Globetrotters, are seeking to make their third Olympic team, a feat matched by only one other person.

Edwards (1988, 1984) and Woodard (1984, 1980) both stand a good chance to survive today's first round of cuts, with the final 12 players to be announced June 12.

Former Old Dominion center Anne Donovan, who is an assistant coach at the trials, was selected to the Olympic team in 1980, 1984 and 1988 and is the only man or woman to be named to three U.S. Olympic basketball teams.

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