Leedham signs deal with WNBA’s Connecticut Sun
LONDON, ENGLAND - July 30: Jo Leedham of Team GB drives past Kim Smith of Canada during the London 2012 Olympic Games Group B game at the Basketball Arena, London, England on July 30, 2012. (Photo by Mansoor Ahmed/Mansoor Ahmed Photography).
SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - July 14: Great Britain guard Jo Leedham drives past Australian Jenna O'Hea during the Standard Life Game On 2012 game at the Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, England on July 14, 2012. (Photo by Mansoor Ahmed/Mansoor Ahmed Photography).
Former Franklin Pierce University standout Johannah Leedham signed a rookie contract with the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA on Monday.
Leedham, who is the all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division II women’s basketball history, was originally drafted by the Sun in the third round with the 27th overall pick of the 2010 Draft after graduating from FPU.
Contingent on Leedham making the team out of training camp, her deal is for three years and the Sun hold a team option for a fourth year. The Sun retained her rights following the 2010 draft and then reached a deal for the upcoming season, which begins on May 25 against the New York Liberty. Training camp opens May 5.
“Johannah is someone who has an intriguing set of skills and we are looking forward to seeing how she will fit in with her team during training camp,” said Sun Vice President and General Manager Chris Sienko.
Over the previous two winters, Leedham played in Poland and Australia, while spending her summers with the Great Britain National Team in preparation of the 2012 London Olympics, July 27 to Aug. 12.
With her Olympic commitment to the national team completed, Leedham could now play a WNBA schedule in the summer — competing against some of the greatest players in the game.
While Great Britain was unable to pick up its first ever Olympic victory in its summer games debut, Leedham shined in front of the home crowd. She averaged a team-leading 16.2 points per game to go along with 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists. For her performance in the five Olympic games, Leedham was named to the All-Olympic second team.
“She has shown that she can score at the collegiate and international level and I’m interested to see how she might be able to add to a veteran team who reached the Eastern Conference finals last year,” said Sienko on Wednesday.
Leedham is currently playing for Bourges in France and is averaging 9.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals during EuroLeague play.
While in Poland during her first professional season, Leedham averaged 10.8 points and 4.4 rebounds before an injury sidelined her for the remainder of the season. The following year, she played in Australia for the Bulleen Melbourne Boomers and finished with 9.9 points and 5.1 rebounds.
Leedham finished her four-year FPU career as the one of the most decorated athletes in school history. Not only is she the school record holder for points in a career, breaking 1988 graduate Shelia Lindsey’s record of 2,564, but Leedham is also the all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division II women’s basketball with 3,050. She ranks fifth all-time across all divisions.
Leedham also finished seventh all-time in D-II with 459 steals, the only player in history to rank in the top 10 of both statistical categories.
In four years, Leedham was twice named the WBCA/State Farm Division II National Player of the Year. As a senior, she also earned the Daktronics and D-II Bulletin player of the year awards.
Leedham was named the Northeast-10 Player of the Year in each of her final three seasons to go along with her conference Rookie of the Year honor.
She won two NE-10 tournament championships and three East Region titles. As a junior, Leedham and her older sister Jennifer, now the head coach of the FPU women’s basketball team, led the Ravens to the NCAA Division II national championship game where they lost to Minnesota State, Mankato, 104-93.
In her final season in Rindge, Leedham helped FPU achieve its first No. 1 national ranking, finish 32-2 and make the Final Four. She also advanced to the Elite Eight as a sophomore, when she won her first player of the year award.
Leedham finished with an overall record of 95-25 at FPU.