Leslie Johnson, of Fort Wayne Northrop, Purdue, Western Kentucky, WNBA Washington Mystics, will be Inducted Into The Indiana Basketball Hall Of Fame, on First Year Eligible.
Leslie Johnson was a 1993 Indiana All-Star and high school All-American after graduating as the 7th leading scorer in IHSAA girls basketball history with 2,045 career points and 1,282 rebounds. Johnson led Fort Wayne Northrop in scoring for four seasons, including 28.4 ppg as a senior for the 25-1 Bruins. She also averaged 14.1 rebounds with 75.1% FG as a senior en route to 18 school records, including 739 season points and a 71% career FG%. She earned four-time SAC all-conference honors, leading teams to three SAC championships, three sectional championships, three regional titles and three semi-state finals appearances. She set the Indiana All-Star record with a 29 point single-game performance in a 113-51 win over Kentucky. She was named the consensus NCAA National Freshman of the Year, 3rd team All-American and the first freshman to earn 1st team all-Big Ten honors, leading Purdue University in scoring (18.5), rebounds (9.1) and FG% (.596) as they reached the 1994 NCAA Final Four. She transferred to Western Kentucky University where she became first player to surpass 1,000 points in two seasons, with 1,079 points and 472 rebounds in 64 games, earning two-time all-conference and two-time honorable mention All-American honors. In all, she totaled 1,860 points and 861 rebounds in 3.5 seasons of college basketball. Drafted by the WNBA Washington Mystics, she played professionally in Greece, Turkey, Israel, South Korea, Portugal and Spain.
LESLIE JOHNSON’S BASKETBALL BIOGRAPHY
High School Career:
Leslie Johnson, a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana; was selected to the 2018 Indiana Basketball Hall Of Fame Silver Anniversary Team, for outstanding accomplishments and achievements throughout her basketball career. In 1993 Johnson completed her career at Fort Wayne Northrop as the Indiana North East Career scoring record holder of 2045 Career Points and 1,282 Rebounds.
That same year she led Northrop to a 25-1 school record averaging 28.4 points per game, 14.1 rebounds, while shooting 75.1 percent from the field. Leslie would lead Northrop to 3 Sectional and Regional Titles, and appearances in the Semi-State Final games. She became the first to become a 4 time High School All Conference All-S.A.C. team member, and in 1993 she was voted U.S.A. Today 1st Team All American, 1st Team All State and scored an Indiana record breaking 29 points in the Indiana All-Star game. Leslie still holds 18 Northrop High School records as of 12/11/2018, more than 25 years later.
In 1994 she became the first freshman in Big Ten History (men or women’s) to be named 1st Team All- Big Ten while playing for Purdue. After transferring to Western Kentucky, she became a 2 Time First Team All-Sun Belt Conference player in 1997 and 1998; completing a streak of being named 1st team All-Conference in every full season of High School and College basketball she ever played in.
While at Purdue she was selected as a 3rd team All-American by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and Honorable Mention All-American by Kodak in 1994. In 1998 at Western Kentucky she would again be named All-American, but this time on the Associated Press Honorable Mention list. Leslie would be named 1st Team All Freshman Big Ten, Big Ten Conference Freshman Of The Year, First Team All Big Ten, and National Freshman of the Year by the Basketball Times, U.S.A. Today, and USBWA in 1994, after leading the Purdue Boilermakers to a Big Ten Title.
She set Purdue freshman records of 628 points, 243 field goals, 141 free throws, 308 rebounds, and 12 double –doubles all of which still stand as of 12/11/2018. Leslie’s 308 rebounds remain the number 7 single season mark in scoring of all time at Purdue, the 243 field goals stands as the number 6 highest, the 308 rebounds are the 3rd most of rebounds in a single season at Purdue, and her mark of 138 offensive rebounds still stand as number 1 in Purdue History. All leading to the first time in Purdue History, that a Freshman was named the team’s Most Valuable Player. Johnson lead Purdue to their first ever appearance to the NCAA Women’s Final Four in 1994 after averaging 18.5 points, and 9.1 rebounds per game that season, and being named the NCAA West Regional Most Outstanding Player.
In 1997 Leslie would go on to lead Western Kentucky to the NCAA Finals game of the Sweet 16 with a 17.9 points, 8.4 rebounds in 1998, and help win Western Kentucky the Sun Belt Conference Championship. She would become the first player in Western Kentucky history to score over 1,000 points in just 2 seasons of basketball with 1,079 points. Her senior year 628 points was the second highest total ever by a Senior Lady Topper. Johnson was named Co-Most Valuable Player for Western Kentucky in 1997 and 1998, and accumulated 1st Team All Sun Belt Conference Honors twice for both seasons played at WKU.
Professional Basketball Career:
After College basketball where Leslie tallied career totals of 1,860 points, 861 rebounds, shooting 58% from the field in 3.5 seasons played; Johnson went on to become the 1st player from Fort Wayne, Indiana to play in the WNBA – when she played for the Washington Mystics in 1998. She would continue her career playing professional basketball overseas between 1998 and 2002, signing to teams in Greece, Turkey, Israel, South Korea, Portugal, and Spain; before eventually retiring from basketball in 2002.
After Sports Honors And Awards:
Leslie is a 1998 recipient of the Johnny Bright Athletic Achievement Award, was inducted into the Fort Wayne, Indiana African American Museum as Outstanding Athlete of the 20th Century in 2000, in 2001 was the recipient of The Exemplary Fine Womanhood Award by Zeta Phi Beta, in 2000 named to the Fort Wayne News Sentinel Northeast Indiana’s Top 50 Athletes of the 20th Century, selected in 2006 to the Western Kentucky University All Continental Team as one of the top 15 players ever played at W.K.U.
In 2018 Leslie was awarded the Survivors Award by the Ayers Foundation, for overcoming obstacles to achieve success, was selected to the Indiana Basketball Hall Of Fame Silver Anniversary Team as one of the top 18 players in Indiana from 25 years ago; and was honored that April. Johnson also received the highest honor of her basketball career in December 2018, that she was selected individually to be Inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall Of Fame; occurring in her first year eligible.
Career After Basketball:
Leslie served as Manager and Executive Staff Member for the Indiana Department Of Corrections – Indiana Women’s Prison, before Retiring after a 11 year career. She and her spouse Carmen, are the Foster Parents to 4 children, continuing Leslie’s passion towards public service.
Leslie is also a current, active member with the National Basketball Retired Players Association, exclusive to only former WNBA, NBA, and Harlem Globetrotter Players. In 2017 she was voted in by the NBRPA players, as the only female member to represent the NBRPA in a group designated to create opportunities for former players, streamline budget initiatives, and establish better partnerships with the Community.
Johnson is also a Business Owner of the Company Hushed No More, LLC, where she can be booked as a Motivational, Inspirational Speaker, and/or Life Coach. She is a Powerful Speaker, who appeals to those that are struggling with addiction, grief, loss, their sexual identity, and/or depression. As a life coach, she encourages individuals in her sessions to speak through their circumstance, find their truth, and discover their power.
PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL ACHIEVEMENTS
In 1998 Was Selected To Play For The WNBA Washington Mystics,
Where She Played In 7 Games.
In 1998-2000 Played Professional Basketball In Greece.
In 2000 Played Professional Basketball In Turkey.
From 2000-2002 Played Professional Basketball In Israel, South
Korea, Portugal, And Spain.
COMMUNITY AWARD RECOGNITION
Received The Johnny Bright Athletic Achievement Award June 22,
1993, For Athletic Excellence.
Inducted Into The Fort Wayne, Indiana African American Historical
Society Museum As Outstanding Athlete Of The 20 th Century On June
Received The Exemplary Fine Womanhood Award From Zeta Phi Beta
Inc. On July 29, 2001.
In 2000, Named To The Fort Wayne News Sentinel Northeast
Indiana’s Top 50 Athletes Of The 20 th Century Team.
In 2006 Was Selected To The Women’s Basketball Continental Team
Top 15 Players Of All Time At Western Kentucky University;
Recognized On February 11, 2007.
HIGH SCHOOL ACCOMPLISHMENTS
• In 1993 Held The North East Indiana Career Scoring Record With 2,045
Points; Becoming • The First Player To Score More Than 2000 Points.
• 1993 Finished Northrop H.S. As The 7 th Leading Career Scorer In The State
Of Indiana History – 2,045 Points
• In 1993 Was Ranked 1 st Team All-American By U.S.A. Today
• In 1993 The U.S.A. Today Ranked Her The Number 1 Center In The Nation
• In 1993 Was Ranked 2 nd Team Parade Magazine All-American
• In 1993 Was Ranked The 9 th Best Player In The Nation By Women’s
Basketball News Service.
• 1993 Selected To First Team Indiana All – State
• 1993 Selected To The Indiana All Star Team
• In 1993 Scored 29 Points In The Indiana – Kentucky All Star Game,
Becoming The Most Points Scored In A Single All Star Game For Team
Indiana (Scoring 29 Points On 11-14 Shooting, With 10 Rebounds; In Only 19
Minutes Of Play)
• 4 Time All S.A.C. (City) Conference – Selected As A Freshman, Sophomore,
Junior, and Senior, Becoming The First Player To Ever Do So In The City Of
• 1993 21 Alive Player Of The Year In Fort Wayne, IN.
• Played on The 1990 And 1991 AAU National Champion Mohr Magic Team,
Becoming A 2 Time AAU-All American
• Led Northrop To 3 City S.A.C. Championships, 3 Regional Championships,
and 3 Appearances In The Title Game Of The Semi-State Championship.
• Selected To 1993 U.S. Olympic Sports Festival North Region Basketball
Team – Named On All-Festival Team
• In 1993 Chose To Play For Purdue University
LESLIE JOHNSON GIRLS BASKETBALL RECORDS AT NORTHROP, H.S.
Most Field Goals made in a Season Game 18 Leslie Johnson 1992-93
Most Field Goals made in a Tourney Game 14 Leslie Johnson 1992-93
Most Field Goals made in Season Games 241 Leslie Johnson 1992-93
Most Field Goals made in IHSAA Tourney Games 71 Leslie Johnson 1992-93
Best Field Goal Percent in a Year (70 Attempts) 75.1% Leslie Johnson 1992-93
Most Points Scored in a Season Game 38 Leslie Johnson 1990-91
Most Points Scored in a Tourney Game 32 Leslie Johnson 1992-93
Most Points Scored in a Season 739 Leslie Johnson 1992-93
Most Points Scored in IHSAA Tourney Games 167 Leslie Johnson 1992-93
Best Average for One Season (all games) 28.4 Leslie Johnson 1992-93
Most Rebounds in a Tourney Game 20 Leslie Johnson 1989-90
20 Leslie Johnson 1991-92
Most Rebounds in all Games 362 Leslie Johnson 1992-93
Rebounds In A Season 362 1992-1993
Most Field Goals Made In A Season 312 1992-1993
Best Field Goal% (100 Attempts) In A Season 315-415 75.1% 1992-1993
Total Points In A Season 739 1992-1993
Most Field Goals In A Varsity Career 855 1990-1993
Most Free Throws In A Varsity Career 334 1990 -1993
Most Rebounds In A Varsity Career 1,282 1990-1993
Most Points In A Varsity Career 2,045 1990-1993
6-2 • Center • Ft. Wayne, Ind. • Western Kentucky/ Purdue
WESTERN KENTUCKY NOTES (1996-98)
- The leader of the Western Kentucky squad since she came to the Hill in 1996; ranking among the Sun Belt Conference leaders in scoring and rebounding in each of the last two seasons.
- 1997-98 Honorable Mention All-America (Associated Press). She is the 10th Lady Topper to receive All· America status and the first since 1996.
- Johnson became the 20th member of the all-time Lady Topper 1,000-Point Club.
- She is the only two-year player on the 1,000-Point list, finishing her career with 1,079 points to rank 18th all-time at WKU.
- Led the 1997-98 team with 17.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game and a .593 field goal percentage.
- Led the 1996-97 Lady Toppers with 15.6 points per game, leading all scorers on 14 occasions.
- Holds the Lady Topper career record with a .576 field goal percentage.
- Her 628 points this year represents the second-highest total ever by a senior Lady Topper.
- Compiled 10 double-doubles as a senior, reaching the 20-point plateau 15 times.
- Against Oregon (Dec. 5,1997), Johnson scored a career-best 34 points,the highest individual mark in the Sun Belt this year and the first 30-point game by a Lady Topper since the 1993-94 season.
- 1997 Preseason Honorable Mention All-America (Simi & Smith).
- 1997 Cancun Shootout All-Tournament Te.am.
- 1997 Preseason Women’s NIT All-Tournament Team.
- 1996-97 &t 1997-98 Western Kentucky Co-Most Valuable Player.
- 1996 PAC-10 Challenge All-Tournament Team.
- Two-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection.
- Two-time All-Sun Belt Conference Tournament team selection.
- Two-time Sun Belt Conference Player-of-the-Week.
PURDUE NOTES (1993-95)
- Led the 1993-94 Boilermakers to the NCAA Final Four.
- 1994 Honorable Mention Kodak All-American.
- 1994 Third Team All-America (U.S.Basketball Writers Association).
- 1994 National Freshman-of-the-Year ( Basketball Times, USBWA, and USA Today).
- 1994 All-District 4 First Team.
- 1993-94 Big Ten Conference Freshman-of-the-Year.
- 1993-94 All-Big Ten Conference First Team, the first freshman in Big Ten history to receive the honor.
- 1994 Sports Journal’s Big Ten All-Freshman Team.
- 1993-94 Purdue Co-Most Valuable Player and Best Offensive Player.
- Three-time Big Ten Conference Player-of-the-Week.
- Led Purdue in scoring (18.5 ppg), rebounding (9.1rpg) and field goal percentage (.596).
- Holds the Purdue season record with 308 rebounds.
- Holds the Boilermaker career record with a.576 field goal percentage.
- Holds the Purdue freshman record with 628 points. She’s just the third player in school history to score 600 points in a season.
- Holds a school freshman record of 34 points at Vanderbilt.
- Second in the Big Ten Conference in rebounding (10.4rpg) and fieldgoal percentage (.563) and fifth in scoring (18.7 ppg) iJi. league games.
- Led Purdue in scoring in 21 games and rebounding in 23 contests.
- Posted 13 double-doubles and 32 double-figure scoring games.
- Reached the 20-point plateau on 14 occasions.
- Named to the 1993 MCI-First American Classic All-Tournament team at Vanderbilt.
- Selected as the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament West Regional.
- Participated in the 1994 U.S.Olympic Festival North Region Team.