WXXI AM News

Connections: Mental Health Advocate Chamique Holdsclaw

Oct 17, 2016

Chamique Holdsclaw is a six-time WNBA All-Star and an Olympic gold medalist, but her life now is dedicated to her achievements off the court. 

Holdsclaw struggled with depression as a child, in part, she says, due to her difficult home life. Her mother was an alcoholic, so she and her younger brother were raised by her grandmother in a housing project in Queens. Holdsclaw took her anger and frustration to the basketball court, where she realized she had a gift. She won three NCAA championships with the University of Tennessee, and was the first draft pick for the WNBA in 1999.

Yet, while she dominated on the court, her personal life was unraveling. In 2006, she attempted to take her own life, and in 2012, she was arrested for firing a pistol into a vehicle while her ex-girlfriend was inside. She was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Holdsclaw now travels the country as a mental health advocate, speaking about ending the stigma of mental illness. She's a guest of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Rochester chapter, but first, she joins us on Connections. Our guests:

  • Chamique Holdsclaw, mental health advocate, WNBA All-Star, and Olympic gold medalist
  • Pat Sine, executive director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Rochester chapter
  • Kristina Mossgraber, events coordinator for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Rochester chapter