Leone Patterson started her basketball career at Mana College. She was an Under 20’s player for Porirua from 1979 to 1981, where her team made the National finals in 1981. She was part of the New Zealand junior team from 1979 to 1980 and then the New Zealand National Team in 1980.
Patterson gained a scholarship to attend Chapman University in California from 1982 until 1986 where she was awarded Conference Freshman of the Year, MVP for two years and First Team All American in her senior year. She was awarded Female Player of the Year in 1991 by the New Zealand Basketball Federation. Leone played for New Zealand in the 1982 Commonwealth Games and at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.