Four time Olympic gold medalist (and Girl Scout alum) Lisa Leslie's latest superstar endeavor? Teaming up with Nestle Crunch to celebrate the Girl Scouts' 100th anniversary! The basketball superhero has worked that gold medal worthy magic to create a limited edition Girl Scouts patch that will be auctioned off on eBay starting July 5th to benefit the Girl Scouts. Talk about some legendary girlpower!
Leslie took a time out to talk about everything from why it's crucial for young girls to join Girl Scouts...to the coolest part of the Olympic Village...to the secret to making your own superstar dreams come true.
MM: Lisa Leslie - four time Olympic gold medalist and a Girl Scout alum! What was your favorite part about being a Girl Scout?
Lisa Leslie: My favorite part was the camaraderie with the young ladies. I just liked having fun with the other young girls. I remember once we even learned to make knots and we had the best time.
MM: A lot of parents today want to sign their daughters up for the trendiest activities. Why do you think it’s so important for young girls in 2012 to still participate in Girl Scouts?
LL: It’s important to be involved in Girl Scouts because it helps with life skills. You learn about cultures, you learn to reason, you learn to have a positive attitude. Girls Scouts is about giving back and helping others. The program trains young girls to be the leaders of tomorrow.
MM: You’re a confident 6’5” woman…But it’s often awkward for girls to be tall at a young age. How did you handle being a tall young lady?
LL: Being tall at a young age isn’t easy. I experienced bullying. It’s important for young ladies to find out what their niche is. Love yourself, be confident in yourself. Work on your own self-esteem. In terms of sisterhood, if we can instill those positive feelings at a young age, it’s easier when they’re teens and being judged and peer pressured.
MM: As a four time Olympic gold medalist (ahhh!), do you eat Nestle Crunch?
LL: I’ve been in support of Nestle Crunch since I was a kid [laughs]. Nestle has done so much beyond making candy though. They give back to the community, and that’s why I’m pleased to partner with Nestle.
MM: Olympic question #2: What’s a typical day like training for the Olympics? Are 7 million sit-ups involved?
LL: You get up early, have breakfast – energy is very important for athletes, then do cross training or weight training before practice. Practice lasts two and a half hours and you do two practices a day.
MM: What’s the coolest part about living in the Olympic Village?
LL: The food! There are so many people from different cultures and countries in the village, and we all come together around the food [laughs]!
MM: If you were Coach Leslie, what would you tell this year’s Team USA?
LL: When it comes to competing in the Olympics, you sacrifice self and it’s all for your country and winning the gold medal. Whether you play 2 minutes or 20 minutes, you do what’s best for the team and country.
MM: Do you play basketball with your children?
LL: I do! My daughter loves playing tennis and doing gymnastics as well. It’s so important for kids to participate in extracurricular activities. There are so many positive statistics from kids being involved in activities. For example, they’re more likely to finish high school and go onto college. This weekend is the 40th anniversary of Title IX. It’s important that girls are aware of the importance of Title IX and take advantage of these opportunities and participate.
MM: All right! Miami or OKC?
LL: Looking like Miami. Just get it over with [laughs]!
MM: Lebron James is one of the most heralded athletes in the world. Does his star power start to fade if he continues to go ringless?
LL: There’s a lot of pressure on him and expectations are definitely high. He left Ohio to win a championship; I think this is Miami’s year.
MM: You’re a legendary Olympic gold medalist aka you make magic happen. What’s your advice to kids with superstar dreams?
LL: Goal setting is a huge part of my success. I’d tell kids to write down their short term goals – that you can achieve in a year – and long term goals – which you can achieve in 5 years. Goal setting helps you stay focused and makes it easier to stay on track when you’re sacrificing. It takes practice – no matter what you do, you need to practice.