2018 Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame inductee Leslie Jabaley Mann came about her athletic prowess honestly. Athleticism is practically a tradition in the Jabaley family. Her father Ron excelled at football, baseball and wrestling during his playing days and was a 2015 inductee into the Hall of Fame. Her brother Tim will join her as an inductee in the class of 2018. Brother Chris was also an outstanding football player at Fannin County High School and is a top notch golfer.
Leslie was selected as the Most Athletic Senior girl in the Fannin County High School class of 1996. The caption next to her picture in the school yearbook indicates that she ‘is usually seen practicing some kind of sport’. Sports and family, with numerous crossovers between the two, have pretty much dominated Leslie’s life from her days at McCaysville Elementary School to the present. When asked how she spends her time these days, she is quick to point out that she and husband Joel Mann are committed to the development, in athletics and otherwise, of their two boys, Carter and Miles. Carter is an 8th grader at Fannin Middle School and plays football and baseball. Miles, a sophomore lineman at Fannin County High School, stands 6’ 6” and tips the scales at 290 pounds. If he continues to progress, he could be the next athlete in the Jabaley lineage to make his mark in athletics.
Leslie played basketball at Fannin County High School during the halcyon days from 1992 – 1996. As a freshman in 1992-93, she was a member of the first team in Fannin County sports history to win a state championship in any sport. As a senior in 1995-96, she was the leader of the team that finished with a record of 28-1, the best record in the history of the school. During her four years of competition, the Lady Rebels posted an impressive record of 98 victories and 13 defeats.
During her freshman season of 1992-93, Leslie played with both the junior varsity and varsity teams. She was the leading scorer and rebounder for the junior varsity and was valuable in a supporting role with the varsity. She was a varsity starter as a sophomore, junior and senior.
Leslie scored 1,187 points and pulled down 813 rebounds in her career with the Lady Rebels. She was named to the Atlanta Journal/Constitution All-State Honorable Mention team as a junior and to the second team as a senior. As a senior she was elected team captain and earned team Most Valuable Player award. She led her team in scoring as a junior and again as a senior. She was named to the Christmas Tournament All-Tournament team as a junior and as a senior. The North Georgia Tip-Off Club selected her as the team Player of the Year at the end of her junior season. She also found time to letter in softball all four years at Fannin.
Leslie was a formidable force as a low post (inside) player at Fannin County High School. She was a rugged rebounder and defender, and more than one opponent felt the sting of trying to run through one of her screens. She also earns high marks from coaches and astute observers for her deft shooting touch and her performance under pressure. She was an honor student and popular with her fellow students.
After graduating from Fannin County High School, Leslie signed a basketball scholarship with Cleveland State Community College in nearby Cleveland, Tennessee. At her signing ceremony, Cleveland State Coach Rusty Melvin said that “she is considered one of the top 25 players in Georgia and is definitely a Division I prospect. She was also an honor student in high school and we are very fortunate that she wants to play for us”. Leslie scored 20 points in her first game at Cleveland State and played there for one season. During that season, she was the team’s leading scorer and rebounder.
Leslie and Joel Mann currently make their home just outside of McCaysville, Georgia. Their neighbor is Leslie’s mother Kay and family activities play an important role in their lives. Leslie is an optician at Jabaley Eye Care in Blue Ridge where she works alongside her brother Dr. Chris Jabaley in the practice founded by their late father Dr. Ron Jabaley in 1968.