Lisa Leslie

Today in Performance Sneaker History: Lisa Leslie is the First Female to Dunk in a Professional Game

For basketball fans and players alike, there are few things more riveting and satisfying than a slam dunk. Turn on an NBA game and you’ll likely be captivated by a number of gravity-defying, defender-posterizing dunks. But for the WNBA, it’s a far more rare occurrence. In fact, since the league officially tipped off in June of 1997, only six dunks have been scored. Lisa Leslie, Michelle Snow, Candace Parker, and Sylvia Fowles have all shook the rim with slams, with Leslie and Parker both pulling off the feat twice.

The first dunk in WNBA history was performed by Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparks in a game against the Miami Sol on July 30, 2002. Although Los Angeles were defeated 82-73, Leslie’s rim-rattler made history and prompted Sparks coach Michael Cooper to remark that they, “Should have won this game for that reason alone.” But Leslie didn’t stop there; in July of 2005, she did it again, converting on the second dunk in WNBA history.

Leslie is best known for wearing the Nike Air Total 9, which boasted a full-grain/synthetic leather upper and Total Air Max cushioning. With the ’90s basketball retro movement in full swing, this is a model that would receive a warm welcoming from hoops enthusiasts.

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