Players pay tribute to retiring Jo Leedham-Warner
One of British Basketball’s all-time greats, former Olympian, EuroBasket veteran and FIBA EuroCup winner Jo Leedham-Warner, has called time on her illustrious career.
You can read the full story regarding Jo’s retirement here, and watch our extended interview with her reflecting on her decision to hang up her boots and call time on an incredible career. Social media has been flooded with tributes to one of the all-time greats, and we received these very special tributes below from some of Jo’s former teammates.
“What an incredible career – Jo, you are an absolute legend and role model for so many! It’s been wonderful to see how your incredible journey through basketball has navigated itself and I’m forever thankful to have shared a small snippet of that together in our time with GB, your passion, toughness and fierce mentality certainly pathed the way and have inspired so many!
“Thank you for all the wonderful memories you’ve provided British Basketball, we know your influence will continue to flourish as you will be forever embedded in the game here in the UK. Enjoy retirement and the beloved time with your family.”
“Joey is one-of-a-kind. She does it all and with so much passion it gets passed through the team. A legend to the game who will be deeply missed in the GB colours.
“Joey has not only been a great teammate to me but a great friend. Coming back after having a baby and performing to the level that she does just explains exactly who Joey is. A mum, a legend, a teammate and a friend for life. Love you, lad.”
“Where do I even start? I had only played with Jo previously in the National Team, so I only ever had glimpses of her in those ten-day windows or at tournaments, but to be with her for a whole season this last year … I thought I was intense, but she definitely wins that battle between us!
“Her strive for excellence, her attitude towards always wanting to be great and to win is a beautiful thing, and she really helped our team to thrive and to perform at our best level. I feel like I’m really good at those things too, but I have days off, whereas Jo doesn’t.
“She kept me, everybody else and herself accountable all the time. I wish her nothing but the best, I know she’ll probably stay around the game because she absolutely loves basketball and I just feel so happy and privileged to have been a part of her last season in the game and to share so many memories with her.”
“I really have never played with a teammate like you, Jo, and you make everybody around you so much better. You play so hard that if I don’t chase down a loose ball I feel like I’m doing you a disservice, when you’re diving on the floor, passing, doing whatever it is the team needs! You really inspire me and I’ve learnt a lot from you.
“Your retirement makes me think of that one shootaround in EuroBasket when you and I could not make any shots and we were on the same level! You were the perfect person to scream it out with, because we both wanted to do better and feel better shooting so we could feel better the next day, and I’m really proud and happy that we were roommates that EuroBasket, because again you just pushed me and others to be their best selves.
“Thank you for being you, Joey. I’m so proud to have been your teammate and I really can’t wait to see what is next for you!”
“Congratulations on amazing career, Jo. You have been a joy to watch and follow, and an example for a lot of us in the way you’ve carried yourself both on and off the court, and I wish you all the best in retirement.
“It has been a joy to watch you this year especially, having you closer to home. I think a lot of people have had the opportunity to give you the recognition you deserve. Walking away with a clean sweep of awards from the WBBL is an amazing feat in itself, and walking away from the game undefeated this season must be a great feeling.
“Congratulations, you deserve everything you can get and I wish you all the best for the next part of life!”