Chamique Holdsclaw

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Chamique Holdsclaw
Personal information
Born (1977-08-09) August 9, 1977 (age 46)
Queens, New York, U.S.
Listed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight172 lb (78 kg)
Career information
High schoolChrist the King
(Queens, New York)
CollegeTennessee (1995–1999)
WNBA draft1999: 1st round, 1st overall pick
Selected by the Washington Mystics
Playing career1999–2010
PositionSmall forward
Career history
1999–2004Washington Mystics
2005–2007Los Angeles Sparks
2009Atlanta Dream
2010San Antonio Silver Stars
2013Southern Lady Generals
Career highlights and awards
Stats at
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
Representing USA
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 2000 Sydney National Team
FIBA World Championship for Women
Gold medal – first place 1998 Berlin Team Competition

Chamique Shaunta Holdsclaw (born August 9, 1977) is an American former professional basketball player in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) most recently under a contract with the San Antonio Silver Stars.[1] She announced her retirement from the Los Angeles Sparks on June 11, 2007,[2] though she eventually came out of retirement to play with the Atlanta Dream for the 2009 WNBA Season. Holdsclaw was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.[3]

High school years[edit]

Holdsclaw grew up playing basketball. While attending Christ the King Regional High School in Queens, New York, she played for the school's women's basketball team, and led them to four straight New York State Championships in basketball. Holdsclaw was named a High School All-American by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).[4] She participated in the WBCA High School All-America Game in 1995, scoring eight points.[5]

College years[edit]

Holdsclaw went to the University of Tennessee from 1995 to 1999, where she played under coach Pat Summitt and helped to lead the Lady Vols to the women's NCAA's first ever three consecutive Women's Basketball Championships in 1996, 1997 and 1998. The 1998 championship was Tennessee's first ever undefeated season at 39–0 and also set an NCAA record for the most wins ever in a season. She also helped lead Tennessee to two SEC regular season titles in 1998 and 1999 and to three SEC tournament championships in 1996, 1998 and 1999.

At Tennessee, Holdsclaw was a four-time Kodak All-America, one of only six women's basketball players to earn the honor (along with teammate Tamika Catchings, Cheryl Miller of USC, Ann Meyers of UCLA, Lynette Woodard of Kansas and LaToya Thomas of Mississippi State.) Holdsclaw finished her career with 3,025 points and 1,295 rebounds, making her the all-time leading scoring and rebounder at Tennessee in men's or women's history, the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in SEC women's history, and the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in the NCAA tournament women's history with 470 points and 197 rebounds. She was also only the fifth women's basketball player in NCAA history to have 3,000 points (a list including Jackie Stiles of Southwest Missouri State, Patricia Hoskins of Mississippi Valley State, Lorri Bauman of Drake, Cheryl Miller of USC, and Cindy Blodgett of Maine). She is also one of five women's collegiate basketball players to ever accumulate over 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 300 assists and 300 steals (a list that includes teammate Tamika Catchings, Cheryl Miller of USC, Sophia Young of Baylor, and Armintie Price of Mississippi.) In 1998, Holdsclaw received the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States. Holdsclaw also won the Naismith trophy for player of the year twice, in 1998 and 1999 and posted a 131–17 win–loss record during her remarkable career as a Lady Vol. In 2000, she was named Naismith's Player of the Century for the 1990s and was also part of an ESPY award given to the Lady Vols as Co-Team of the Decade for the 1990s. In 1996, 1997 and 1998, Holdsclaw was named to the Final Four All Tournament team.[6]

In 2006, Holdsclaw was named to a women's collegiate basketball silver anniversary team for being picked as one of the 25 greatest players of the past 25 years. She was also picked as one of the 5 greatest players in the SEC of the past 25 years.

Holdsclaw is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

WNBA career[edit]

In the 1999 WNBA draft, Holdsclaw was selected by the Washington Mystics 1st overall.[7] After this selection, Holdsclaw gained the distinction of being the first, and only, female athlete to appear on the cover of SLAM magazine. Furthermore, Holdsclaw was pictured in a New York Knicks jersey, implying that perhaps she was good enough to play in the NBA.

In her first season, she was named the Rookie of the Year, the first number one draft pick to win that honor. She was also a starter in the inaugural WNBA All-Star Game that same year. She averaged 16.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in her first season. The next year, Holdsclaw was named to the Olympic team, helping to lead them to a gold medal.

During her subsequent seasons in the WNBA, Holdsclaw continued to improve her numbers. In 2002, despite missing several games with an ankle injury, Holdsclaw averaged a double-double per game with 19.9 points and 11.5 rebounds. By 2003, she was averaging 20.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. On July 24, 2004, however, she failed to show up for a game against Charlotte, played one more game in reserve and then did not play the rest of the season including the entire playoffs.[citation needed]

On March 21, 2005, Holdsclaw was traded to the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for DeLisha Milton-Jones.

In May 2006, Holdsclaw took a sudden two-week leave from playing for the Sparks, but later clarified that this was due to the serious illnesses of her father and stepfather. As of late June, she was averaging 14.4 points per game and 7 rebounds per game.

On June 11, 2007, only a few weeks into the 2007 WNBA season, she surprisingly announced she was retiring and did not immediately provide any explanation as to her sudden departure.[8]

On December 17, 2008, the Atlanta Dream traded the 13th pick in the 2009 WNBA draft to the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for the rights to Holdsclaw. Holdsclaw stated she definitely considered a return to the WNBA if healthy, and did. Holdsclaw was a constant part of the team's offense and a starter that season, despite an injury that kept her out several games toward the end of the season. However, she returned just in time for one game in the playoffs. The Dream lost to the Detroit Shock.

On May 19, 2010, she was released from the Dream after requesting a trade and did not report to the team. Two days later, she signed with the San Antonio Silver Stars.

WNBA career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game  RPG  Rebounds per game
 APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
 TO  Turnovers per game  FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 Bold  Career best ° League leader

Regular season[edit]

1999 Washington 31 30 34.2 .437 .172 .773 7.9 2.4 1.2 0.9 16.9
2000 Washington 32 32 35.3 .465 .256 .680 7.5 2.5 1.5 0.6 17.5
2001 Washington 29 29 33.6 .400 .239 .682 8.8 2.3 1.5 0.5 16.8
2002 Washington 20 20 31.7 .452 .393 .830 11.6° 2.3 1.0 0.3 19.9°
2003 Washington 27 27 35.1 .425 .171 .903 10.9° 3.3 1.3 0.6 20.5
2004 Washington 23 22 34.8 .402 .412 .803 8.3 2.4 1.7 0.8 19.0
2005 Los Angeles 33 33 35.8 .480 .231 .788 6.8 3.2 1.2 0.5 17.0
2006 Los Angeles 25 0 29.5 .470 .200 .884 6.1 2.2 1.4 0.4 15.0
2007 Los Angeles 5 5 30.0 .492 .667 .833 5.6 3.0 1.2 0.6 15.8
2009 Atlanta 25 25 28.3 .414 .200 .839 4.4 2.2 1.4 0.3 13.9
2010 San Antonio 29 29 29.0 .494 .355 .806 5.3 2.0 1.5 0.3 13.6
Career 11 years, 4 teams 279 252 32.9 .443 .262 .794 7.6 2.5 1.3 0.5 16.9


2000 Washington 2 2 37.5 .448 .000 1.000 5.5 0.5 1.5 0.5 15.0
2002 Washington 5 5 34.6 .449 .182 .733 8.6 3.2 2.0 0.6 18.8
2005 Los Angeles 2 2 39.0 .519 1.000 .400 5.0 1.0 2.0 0.0 15.5
2006 Los Angeles 3 1 14.7 .333 .500 .000 3.7 1.3 0.3 0.7 4.3
2009 Atlanta 1 0 13.0 .250 .000 1.000 3.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.0
Career 5 years, 3 teams 13 10 29.5 .442 .250 .725 6.0 1.8 1.4 0.5 13.2

USA Basketball[edit]

Holdsclaw was a member of the National team who traveled to Berlin, Germany in July and August 1998 for the FIBA World Championships. The USA team won a close opening game against Japan 95–89, then won their next six games easily. In the quarterfinals, Holdsclaw scored 20 points to help team advance. After trailing late in the final game, the USA held on to win the gold medal 71–65. Holdsclaw averaged 10.9 points per game, third highest on the team.[9]

Holdsclaw continued with the National team to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. The USA won all eight games, including the gold medal game against host Australia to win the gold medal, although Holdsclaw had a stress fracture in her right foot and was unable to compete.[10]

Awards and honors[edit]

International career[edit]


Chamique Holdsclaw Foundation[edit]

Today, Holdsclaw works as a mental health advocate.[14][15]

Personal life[edit]

Holdsclaw wrote in her autobiography Breaking Through: Beating the Odds Shot after Shot (2012, ISBN 0985029803) that she had suffered depression during her professional basketball career, and attempted suicide on one occasion.[16]

Atlanta police issued an arrest warrant for Holdsclaw on November 15, 2012 after Holdsclaw allegedly attacked her ex-girlfriend's car with a baseball bat and shot at the car. The owner of the car, fellow WNBA player Jennifer Lacy, was uninjured.[17] It was announced on February 27, 2013, that Holdsclaw was being indicted for the November shooting in Atlanta. It is a six-count indictment charging her with aggravated assault, criminal damage and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Holdsclaw was released from jail after posting a $100,000 bond and a court date was not set.[18]

Holdsclaw pleaded guilty June 14, 2013 to aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and other charges. She was sentenced to three years' probation and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service and pay a $3,000 fine under the plea agreement. Holdsclaw's attorney Ed Garland said his client "felt that to honestly accept what her actions were was best for everyone concerned".[19]

Documentary filmmaker Rick Goldsmith produced a film on Holdsclaw's life and battle with mental illness called Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw which aired on Logo TV on May 3, 2016.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Chamique Holdsclaw signs with San Antonio Silver Stars | WNBA". The Seattle Times. May 21, 2010. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  2. ^ "Six-time WNBA All-Star Holdsclaw retires". June 12, 2007. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  3. ^ "Chamique Holdsclaw". Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 16, 2021.
  4. ^ "Past WBCA HS Coaches' All-America Teams". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  5. ^ "WBCA High School All-America Game Box Scores". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  6. ^ Nixon, Rick. "Official 2022 NCAA Women's Final Four Records Book" (PDF). NCAA. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
  7. ^ Knight, Athelia. "Mystics Select Holdsclaw With No. 1 Pick". Washington Post. Retrieved November 16, 2021.
  8. ^ Peterson, Lauren (June 12, 2007). "Sparks' Holdsclaw to retire immediately – Los Angeles Times". Archived from the original on May 22, 2011.
  9. ^ "Thirteenth World Championship For Women -- 1998". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  10. ^ "Games of the XXVIIth Olympiad -- 2000". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on October 13, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  11. ^ a b "PAST HONDA SPORTS AWARD WINNERS FOR BASKETBALL". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  12. ^ "Candace Parker Wins Honda Sports Award". University of Tennessee Athletics. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  13. ^ "Past Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Winners (Honda Cup)". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  14. ^ "@Chold1" on Twitter
  15. ^ "Where are they now: Catching up with former WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw".
  16. ^ Sally Jenkins, "Chamique Holdsclaw confronts her 'little secret' of depression", The Washington Post, May 17, 2012.
  17. ^ Provano, Joel. "Arrest warrant issued for ex-basketball star Chamique Holdsclaw". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  18. ^ "Holdsclaw indicted on aggravated assault charge". CBS News. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
  19. ^, citing a story by AP
  20. ^ Kovno Communications website

External links[edit]