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Athletes as Educators

On this podcast, Angela Lewis interviews current and former athletes as they share advice on the college recruiting process. Each interview also offers advice for parents on how to best help athletes as they transition to each phase in their lives.

The Athletes as Educators Podcast is a production of the Global Athlete Media Network.

Jun 8, 2016

Chamique Holdsclaw is a world-renowned athlete, advocate, and author. Her powerful story is one that speaks to all that have faced adversity. Holdsclaw’s vision is to raise awareness for mental health issues and to educate and advocate for those that feel like they are suffering alone or that there voice is too small to effect change with her concept of living “Mentally Driven: Mind, Body, & Spirit.”

Holdsclaw has been traveling the country to speak on behalf of her recent documentary “Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw” (2015). This poignant film gives an intimate look into the “female Michael Jordan’s” rise to fame as collegiate and professional athlete and when her career was derailed by depression and near suicide. She portrays an exemplary bravery and forthrightness, through scenes of remarkable intimacy and struggle as she seeks redemption, not just by saving herself, but also by educating and encouraging others at risk.

Chamique Holdsclaw has been a public speaker and powerful mental health advocate since 2007. Her passion is to shine a national spotlight on mental health issues – especially in sports, among African-Americans and underrepresented populations, and youth. Holdsclaw has also spoken on topics such as overcoming obstacles, adversity, and leadership. Holdsclaw is also a published author, “Chamique Holdsclaw: My Story (2001),” and “Breaking Through: Beating the Odds One Shot at a Time” (2012).

Chamique Holdsclaw has led one of the most storied in careers in women’s basketball history. After winning three national titles at the University of Tennessee, the most decorated women’s college basketball player ever became the first pick in the 1999 WNBA Draft. Despite numerous injuries and ailments, she has led a successful professional career, becoming a mainstream sports icon and helping push the WNBA to unprecedented popularity.



After her retirement from the WNBA, she continued to play professional basketball overseas.In 2008, Holdsclaw played for Poland’s Lotos Gdynia in the Euroleague. This season, she is averaging 17.6 points per game for TS Wisla Can-Pack Krakow in the Euroleague. After spending the 2008 season in the Euroleague, 

Holdsclaw returned to the WNBA for the 2009 season with the Atlanta Dream. The Dream seemed to be a great fit for Holdsclaw; unfortunately the season was complicated by a knee injury that prevented Holdsclaw from finishing the regular season and missing the playoffs.

Holdsclaw has admitted that she has battled depression and since has served as inspiration for kids throughout the country who are battling the same problems. 

In October 1998, Holdsclaw became the only women’s player ever to be featured on the cover of Slam magazine, one of the most widely read basketball publications in the world. She also has released her own basketball shoe, the Nike BBMiqueShox and published a book in 2001 titled Chamique: On Family, Focus and Basketball. She also has her #23 jersey retired at the University of Tennessee where she also has a street named after her. Holdsclaw credits her grandmother as her hero, for teaching her blind faith and sacrifice.

Despite the many obstacles that have faced her throughout her professional career, Holdsclaw’s resiliency and courage have helped her lead a very successful career. Her hard work and team oriented play helped her become one of the most popular players in the league. These attributes helped her push the WNBA into the American sports mainstream.