Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis drives to the baseline. (Neil Enns/Storm Photos)
She was introduced to basketball in the third grade. “I did not like it. I wasn’t very good. So I told my mom that I didn’t want to play anymore.” A year later, Mosqueda-Lewis was still the tallest person in her class, and her parents convinced her to give it another try. “My dad started working with me every single day. I made the decision to stick with it … and I got better.”
Yes, she did. Mosqueda-Lewis was named captain of Mater Dei High School girls’ basketball team and was recruited to the University of Connecticut and its top-ranked women’s team. She became the NCAA’s all-time leader in three-pointers, and she was the WNBA’s No. 3 draft pick. Now the 22-year-old forward with the Seattle Storm is about to begin her second season. “It definitely feels like a privilege, and we’re all really aware that we’re in a position to inspire girls. I remember going to a Los Angeles Sparks game as a kid and seeing Lisa Leslie dunk for the first time. That inspired me. That was important.