Chamique Holdsclaw has accomplished many things. She won four straight New York State high school championships at Christ the King. She helped lead the University of Tennessee to three straight NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships and was named Player of the Year twice. She was the first overall pick in the 1999 WNBA draft.
However, if you ask her now, her greatest accomplishment has come off the basketball court. Holdsclaw has overcome some trying personal issues and incidents and became a passionate advocate for mental health. A new documentary, Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey Of Chamique Holdsclaw, which premieres on Tuesday, May 3rd at 9 p.m. on Logo TV, tells Holdsclaw’s incredible story.
Holdsclaw and the film’s director, Rick Goldsmith, joined Bill Rhoden On Sports to discuss the documentary, why they made it, and Holdsclaw’s incredible journey through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
Even early on in Holdsclaw’s life, she felt she needed help, but was encouraged to suppress those feelings.
“That’s what I was taught in my household, just keep the bad stuff to yourself and kinda move forward,” she explained. “But, I just know the pain that it caused me. I really was the type to suffer in silence.”
The breaking point for Holdsclaw and the moment her issues were apparent to the public occurred in 2012 when she was arrested after firing her gun at her former teammate and girlfriend Jennifer Lacy’s car during an argument. Holdsclaw describes what went through her mind during and immediately after the event and explained how her life has changed since the incident, after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
“Finally, I was able to get help. It took a long time, a little over a year, meeting with psychiatrists, psychologists, forensic psychologists, investing a lot of money and a lot of time into it,” Holdsclaw said.
“I’m blessed that I was able to do that and finally after all these years to be diagnosed with bipolar II, to get on the proper medication and to see it work for me and to know that I can now be healthy, because a lot of people don’t have the resources.”
Though she wishes her illness could have been diagnosed earlier, Holdsclaw has accepted and embraced a new part of her amazing legacy: mental health advocate. Holdsclaw made the courageous decision to let the world into her life through this film in order to help others with mental illnesses that may or may not have been diagnosed.
There is no doubt that the transformation in Holdsclaw’s life and the peace she has now found will be an inspiration to others.
Listen to all of this and more on the latest edition of Bill Rhoden On Sports.
Follow the Bill Rhoden On Sports podcast on Twitter @BROSpod.