Lea Hakala (b. 15 March 1960)
Lea Hakala had an exceptionally long and successful career in basketball, spanning four decades. After gaining experience in US college basketball at Maryland Terrapins she played five seasons in the top leagues in Italy and Spain at a time when international transfers were strictly limited. In Finnish women’s basketball Hakala’s achievements are unrivalled: she won sixteen championship titles and eight cup victories during 25 seasons.
Hakala led the Finnish women’s national team to three European Championship tournaments. In 1981 she was the leading scorer of the European Championships in Italy. Hakala played 251 games and scored 4,139 points in the national team, both overwhelming records in Finnish women’s or men’s basketball. After her playing career Hakala served as manager of the Finnish women’s national team and member of the Women’s Commission of the International Basketball Federation FIBA.