Bill Plaschke Salutes Lisa Leslie

Plaschke went to see Leslie play, and calls her one of the most influential athletes in Los Angeles history, in part because of this:

It happens before every Sparks game at Staples Center. It happens during the introductions.

Like every starter, Lisa Leslie runs to the center of the court and hands a basketball to a child from the stands.

But, unlike anyone else, she drops to one knee, hugs the child, and whispers into an ear.

"God bless you," she says. "Always give your best."

The child, usually nervous and wanting to run off, stops and listens. The parents of that child, expecting an athlete's apathy, stop and stare.

Memories happen. Photos happen. Maybe even a bit of inspiration happens.

Then, and only then, does Lisa Leslie play basketball.

Via The Daily Fix