In November 2006, WNBA legend Lisa Leslie tied the knot with Michael Lockwood, a pilot for UPS and author, before 85 guests in Maui. The happy couple met through Michael’s friend, whom Lisa met in an airport during a personal vacation.
“He told me him and his wife were a fan and then said, ‘Hey, I have a great guy you should meet you’re both tall,’” says Leslie with a laugh. “I’m thinking, ’I’m not trying to meet anyone; I’m good single,’ but I finally gave in and shared my number with him to give to Michael and the rest is history.”
“It was important for me to have an intimate ceremony with close family and friends,” says Leslie. “It was truly a beautiful day.”
Lisa Leslie is all smiles as she poses next to the “I Love You” message left by Michael after his surprise proposal following the NCAA Women’s Final Four tournament on April 4, 2005, in Indianapolis, for which Leslie served as a commentator.
“I had no idea even after seeing the message on the bed in our hotel room that he was about to propose,” says Leslie. “I just thought, ‘Awww, how sweet!’But when he did get on bended knee I was so corny and like, ‘Oh yes, yes, yes.’”
Lisa Leslie—the Los Angeles Sparks champ who is arguably the most famous female basketball player in the world and is set to star in ABC’s upcoming reality competition "Superstars"—sat down with ESSENCE.com to talk about marriage, motherhood and why she’s the happiest she’s ever been. A source of her joy is husband Michael Lockwood, whom she married in a fairy-tale wedding in Maui in 2006.
Lisa and Michael, both best-selling authors, share a high-five during one of their book signings. Lisa wrote her autobiography, “Don’t Let The Lipstick Fool You” and Michael penned “Women Have All The Power.”
“At 21 months, she’s already as tall as most 3-year-olds, so we make sure she’s advanced in her learning because I don’t ever want her to be mistaken for being older and not being on her appropriate learning curve,” explains Lisa. “She’s already saying her alphabet and can spell. She’s a smart girl.”
“The girl is an actress,” says Leslie with a laugh, who was signed to the Wilhemenia Modeling agency in June 1996. “The photographer asked us if he could display her photos for [advertising] and I’m like, wow, could this be her first modeling gig?”
“Michael had everything I wanted in a man—right down to his long eyelashes,” says Leslie. “We spoke on the phone for a month before we met face-to-face. As women, you don’t truly realize the difference between a man and a boy until you find a real man, and I love Michael for teaching me that.”