Former NCAA and WNBA Star Chamique Holdsclaw To Speak at Basketball Championships

Holdsclaw will speak on Wednesday, March 5 at 7 p.m. in Wheelwright Auditorium


Chamique Holdsclaw

Chamique Holdsclaw

Feb. 27, 2014

CHARLOTTE, N.C. ( - In conjunction with the 2014 Big South Basketball Championships, Chamique Holdsclaw, a former NCAA All-American at Tennessee and WNBA standout, will speak at Coastal Carolina University on Wednesday, March 5 at 7 p.m. in Wheelwright Auditorium.

The lecture has been made possible by Terri DeCenzo, Coastal’s first lady and the executive director of Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina University, and reflects the Conference-wide commitment to Developing Leaders Through Athletics with particular emphasis on women’s leadership. This is the second annual Women’s Speaker Program, as former NBA executive Susan O’Malley was last year’s inaugural presenter.

“I am thankful to Women in Philanthropy and Leadership and their Executive Director, Terri DeCenzo, for providing an opportunity to our Big South student-athletes and members of the Grand Strand community to hear a powerful message from Chamique Holdsclaw,” said Coastal Carolina Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek. “Ms. Holdsclaw’s experiences of competing at the highest athletic level coupled with her foundation’s focus to promote mental health education and training fit perfectly into our goal of providing enlightening programming for all involved as we host the Big South Basketball Championships.”

The event is open to Coastal Carolina University students, faculty and staff, as well as to community members. Admission is free and tickets are available in advance at the Wheelwright Box Office or at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.

Born Chamique Shaunta Holdsclaw on August 9, 1977 in Queens, N.Y., she first made her mark as a high school basketball star at Christ The King High School. There she led her team to four consecutive State Championships and became an All-American and one of the most highly sought after college basketball recruits in the country. She played collegiately for the perennial Women’s Basketball powerhouse University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers and Hall of Fame Coach Pat Summit. Holdsclaw’s stellar collegiate career included leading the Lady Vols to three-straight NCAA Championships, which was the first time that had ever been accomplished in Women’s College Basketball history.

After her illustrious college basketball career, which included several All-America honors and countless other awards, Holdsclaw was the No. 1 Pick in the 1999 WNBA Draft by the Washington Mystics. Her rookie season was capped with a WNBA Rookie of the Year Award as well as her first of six WNBA All-Star appearances. In 2000 she had the honor of winning an Olympic Gold Medal with Team USA at the Sydney Olympic Games.

Aside from her outstanding athletic talent, Holdsclaw loves giving back to the community. She spends a great deal of her free time speaking to various women’s organizations and to young girls about the importance of self-esteem and education, as well as leading a healthy and physically active lifestyle. As of late, Holdsclaw has devoted a lot of her focus and time making appearances and speaking at various conferences, panels, and events within the mental health community to share her own personal struggles with depression and how she has been able to overcome her battles.

Her book “Breaking Through: Beating The Odds Shot After Shot” aims to inspire others to find the strength to face their own adversity, life challenges, and personal obstacles in their lives to strive to become their best despite their circumstances. She also wants to empower others who have struggled with mental health to go seek the professional help they need. Holdsclaw ultimately hopes to erase the ugly stigma associated with mental health issues, especially within the African-American community. She is an honorary member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc. sorority.

In 2013 she founded the Chamique Holdsclaw Foundation, which works to support initiatives that facilitate the optimized mind, body and spirit of individuals through its mental health and wellness focused programs. Holdsclaw currently resides in the Atlanta area.

As part of the Big South Basketball Championships, 23 men’s and women’s Big South basketball teams will play in 21 games at The HTC Center beginning Tuesday, March 4; the men’s and women’s championship games will be held on Sunday, March 9. For tickets, please call the Coastal Carolina Athletics Ticket Office at 843-347-8499, or visit