JO LEEDHAM has vowed to do Great Britain proud at this year’s London Olympic Games – even though she knows winning a medal is a distant dream.
Chester-born Leedham, 24, is the star player of Team GB’s women’s basketball team and currently plays in one of the world’s top leagues, the Women’s National Basketball League in Australia, with the Bulleen Boomers.
Britain booked their place in the women’s Olympic basketball tournament last year, but they are not likely to be among the medal contenders at London 2012.
Despite this, Leedham insists there is still plenty to play for.
She said: “I know we’re not going to the Olympics to try and win a medal. That’s not what we’re about. We’re going to the Olympics because we want to show people in our backyard how good we are and inspire the younger generation.
“We just want people to watch us and respect us. We want people to see how hard we fight for the nation.”
Speaking in an interview with the BBC, the former Ellesmere Port Catholic High School pupil said she was thoroughly enjoying her new life ‘Down Under’.
“The Australians have got it right over here,” she said. “They work until they have to work and they relax and enjoy their free time.
“The league is amazing... the standard is really, really high. “It’s got a lot of players from the Australian (national) team as many of them have come back to play in the league before the Olympics. To practise with people of such a high calibre everyday is amazing.”
Leedham, who is from Little Sutton, began her basketball career at school and also played for the Ellesmere Port Panthers.
She left home for the United States and made a name for herself playing for Franklin Pierce College Ravens team in New Hampshire.
A brief spell in Poland followed before Leedham signed for the Boomers last year.