“In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let’s hear it for New York
New York, New York…” -Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys
The name Chamique Holdsclaw says it all when it comes to the game of basketball. Native New Yorker with a list of accomplishments that include (but not limited to) championships on the high school, collegiate and professional levels, WNBA Rookie of the Year, six time WNBA All-star, Olympian and Woman’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Chamique’s basketball stats are phenomenal and they way she dominated on the basketball court made it a pleasure to watch her play. Thankfully, I was able to see her play in person a few times when her teams (Washington Mystics and Los Angeles Sparks) played at Madison Square Garden against the New York Liberty. She definitely inspired me to make my game better. I recall her being referenced as the best player in the game and I would say, “Absolutely, she’s a New Yorker, that’s what we do.”
Aside from Chamique’s undefeated records, scoring titles and numerous basketball awards, I am most intrigued by her openness to share and discuss her mental health challenges through her published books, interviews and documentary entitled, “Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw.” The way in which Chamique works to remove the stigma against depression and other mental health issues is reminiscent of how she studied the game of basketball to reach her ultimate goal of “winning.” By winning, I mean she’s acknowledges her past, her present and the tools needed to ensure she has the future she desires for herself and her family. At the same time working to ensure people in the African-American community have access to the necessary resources. In my book, Chamique is a champion both on and off the basketball court.
Fun Fact: Both Chamique and I were born and raised in New York.
If I could ask Chamique a question it would be: What is more physically challenging, preparing for a WNBA game or the newborn stage of parenting?
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Hello and welcome to Mommy Scoreboard. It’s been several years but I remember starting my college application essay with the sentence, “You can always find me with a pen in one hand a basketball in the other.” I enjoy writing but the sport of basketball has been my ultimate joy. Fast forward and now I am the proud parent of three children, a happily married woman and an accomplished recreational basketball player. If I had to update my essay sentence it would read, “You can always find me with a pen, a basketball, a kid or two, a mobile device, a skillet, random toy part, a sippy cup, baby wipes, hand sanitizer and face masks in my hands”…WOW, have times gotten better!