JO Leedham has set the record straight after being wrongly labelled a ‘Plastic Brit’ by a national newspaper.
In yesterday’s Daily Telegraph, the 24-year-old was included in a list of 61 overseas-born athletes in Great Britain’s 542-strong squad for the 2012 London Olympics.
The article claimed that 11.25% of the athletes in Team GB were born abroad, with many gaining UK citizenship through residency.
But Leedham was born at the Countess of Chester and is fiercely proud of her Ellesmere Port roots. She was brought up in the town before leaving to pursue a successful basketball career in America and Australia.
The Chronicle contacted Leedham on Twitter yesterday to make her aware of the Telegraph’s article.
She replied by saying you ‘can’t get more British’ than her, adding: “Info in The Telegraph is false. I wasn’t born in Oz.”
She added that she was ‘Ellesmere Port thru n thru’.
Staff at The Daily Telegraph appeared to realise the error of their ways yesterday as the online version of the story reduced the number of ‘Plastic Brits’ involved in Team GB from 61 to 60.
The mix-up possibly came about because Leedham has recently been playing club basketball for an Australian team, the Bulleen Boomers.
But her club career is currently on hold as she builds up to the Olympics.
Leedham and her GB team-mates will round off their preparations for London 2012 with a series of warm-up matches in the next seven days.
Britain take on Angola tomorrow, Australia on Saturday and then France on Sunday at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.
A glamour fixture follows next Wednesday when the team take on the USA at Manchester Arena.
Leedham has been in sensational form in the lead-up to the Olympics.
She marked her 50th appearance for her country with a record-breaking performance in a superb 81-57 victory over the Czech Republic in her last outing.
Leedham netted 19 points to lead all scorers for the sixth game in a row as well as making an amazing 12 steals.
Twelve steals in one match is a British record at any level and surpasses the current best in both the NBA (11) and Women’s NBA (10).