Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Leedham leading way for Great Britain

When looking at players who have scored at least 20 points against the U.S. women's senior national team over the last few years it's not shocking to see veterans like Ann Wauters and Evantha Maltsi on the list. But to have a player just two years out of college accomplish the feat - as former Franklin Pierce and Cheshire Academy star Johannah Leedham did on Wednesday - is certainly an impressive accomplishment.

I spent several minutes on the phone with Leedham on Thursday and was able to address a handful of subjects including Leedham's 21-point performance against the U.S. “Oh my God, it was amazing,” Leedham said.

“Going to a Division II school for all four years you (admire) people like that in the four years watching them play on TV. The fact that I am meeting them on the court all the (11) players at once, it was amazing. It was just a real exciting experience sharing the court with people like (Diana) Taurasi and Maya Moore. It is amazing to be able to compete with them is a dream come true that we can do that.”

Considering some of Great Britain’s recent results, the fact that it stayed with the U.S. for a stretch should not be a shocker. Britain was only down seven at halftime to world No. 2 ranked Australia, defeated No. 8 France behind 23 points from Leedham and shocked No. 4 Czech Republic by 24 points led by 19 points and 12 steals from Leedham.

Leedham’s effort certainly caught the eye of U.S. and UConn head coach Geno Auriemma.

“She had such a great career over in the U.S.,” Auriemma said after Wednesday’s game. “She's one of those really smart individuals who really knows how to play and takes advantage of all the little things that you may or may not do. She knows how to get open. She doesn't miss very many open shots. She's very crafty, to say the least. I'm sure on her team, they're asking her to do a lot and I was really impressed with the way she played.”

Leedham is not only a member of Great Britain’s team which received an automatic berth into the Olympics as the host country but she is the team captain. In a week she will be walking into London’s Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremonies.

“It will be about a million different emotions probably a permanent smile on my face and maybe tears of joy and tears of 'oh my God, this is really happening right now,'” Leedham said. “It will be something that I will never probably be able to explain but it will be very unique.”

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