Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The 6'2" (1.88 m) Holdsclaw grew up playing basketball. While attending Christ The King Regional High School in Queens, New York, she played for the school's women's basketball team, and led them to four straight New York State Championships in basketball. After graduating from high school, Holdsclaw went to the University of Tennessee in 1995, where she played under coach Pat Summitt and helped to lead the Lady Vols to three consecutive Women's Basketball Championships. At Tennessee, Holdsclaw became the school's all-time leading scorer and rebounder among both the men's and women's programs with 3,025 points and 1,295 rebounds. She was also only the fifth women's basketball player in NCAA history to have 3,000 points.
In the 1999 WNBA Draft, Holdsclaw was selected by the Washington Mystics. In her first season, she was named the Rookie of the Year and was a starter in the inaugural WNBA All-Star Game. She averaged 16.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in her first season. The next year, Holdsclaw was named to the Olympic team, helping to lead them to a gold medal.
During her subsequent seasons in the WNBA, Holdsclaw continued to improve her numbers. In 2002, despite missing several games with an ankle injury, Holdsclaw averaged a double-double per game with 19.9 points and 11.5 rebounds. By 2003, she was averaging 20.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. On July 24, 2004, however, she failed to show up for a game against Charlotte, played one more game in reserve and then didn't play the rest of the season including the entire playoffs. At first, Holdsclaw refused to discuss the reason for her absence, other than to rule out cancer, pregnancy and drug addiction, but following the season, she told The Washington Post that she was suffering from clinical depression and that she had been ashamed to discuss it with the public.
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