Big Day of Giving Testimonial - Leslie Leong

Return to Big Day of Giving

Leslie's basketball skillset development started with CCC basketball and summer league programs. Honing her skills through club and AAU ball, she became a standout at Kennedy High School. "Lacing up" she and her team took home two section championships and competed for the Nor-Cal Finals twice. Giving back, Leslie volunteered as a coach and was a familiar face helping at numerous SASF events.

With all her academic accomplishments and growth in her basketball game, Leong went on to play at Wellesley College. "I initially didn’t know I would continue to play basketball beyond high school," Leong said. However, after some schools reached out and showed interest in her talents, Leong knew she wanted to continue her basketball career.

"Basketball has been a huge part of my identity since I was a kid and it helped shape me into the person I am," said Leong. "At some point I realized I wasn't ready to stop playing basketball competitively and that ultimately led me to Wellesley, which really opened the door to a lot of new experiences that shaped the trajectory of my life."

Leong left her mark at Wellesley earning New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Academic All-Conference Honors during her entire career, and in 2014, NEWMAC Athlete of the Year and a NCAA Woman of the Year Nominee.

She continues to impact her community in any way that she can using her experience gained through sports and as a Peace Corps volunteer. Recently she began assisting SASF's Teen Mental Health Program and Strive for Strength.

"The organization helped shape my experiences growing up and it continues to do the same for our youth today," Leong said. "SASF's ability to use sport, youth programs, and events to unify the community, develop youth leadership and positive citizenship, and create a welcoming and safe environment for the Asian community is invaluable. I am very grateful for the experiences it has given me and appreciate their devotion to serving Sacramento's Asian community and beyond."