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Jocks to GIs: Chamique Holdsclaw

5/20/2003 - Washington Mystics

See previous e-mail between Chamique Holdsclaw and SSgt. Maurice Jackson:

March 28-31, 2003


From: Chamique Holdsclaw

Sent: Friday, May 2, 2003 11:43 PM
To: Jackson, Maurice SSGT 410 AEW/MXS
Subject: War is over!

Hi Maurice,

I hope that you and your sister are doing well. Now that the war has ended, do you guys get to spend more time together? Do you know about when you guys will be able to get back home?

Is it calm in Iraq now? It seems like the country has a long way to go to stabilize itself. Hopefully the Iraqi citizens are getting used to liberation and are taking advantage of all that freedom offers. What a huge transition to make.

Do you ever watch Armed Forces TV? A crew came to interview me this week in Washington about my participation in the Jocks to GI's program. The producer told me the interview would air soon, though I didn't get an exact date. I wonder if it has been beamed overseas yet. I'll try and get an air date from the producer. We did the interview on our practice court at MCI Center. It was good to be on the court – even though I was only in street clothes.

Training camp started yesterday – and I'm wiped. Because of the labor situation, the start was delayed 4 days so Coach Stanley was so ready for us to get going. I was really pleased with what I saw out there from my teammates. It seems as though everyone has stepped up their game a notch. Some of us are in better condition than year's past. Some of us are shooting better and we all seem to have a better attitude.

I think we did well in the draft. I'm really pleased with our first round pick - Aiysha Smith. She's a 6'2" forward from LSU. And you know how you kept saying we need a big body, a post player…well we also got 6'5" Jenny Mowe from Portland in the Dispersal Draft. I know Aiysha and Jenny are going to help our team. We've definitely added depth and quality. Can you believe our preseason opener is May 9 at Minnesota? That's next week!

Going to get some rest - Coach Stanley's working us hard!

Take it easy and make it back safe.

God Bless,
Chamique


From: Jackson, Maurice SSGT 410 AEW/MXS
Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2003 12:52 AM
To: Chamique Holdsclaw
Subject: Re: Hello again

Chamique,

Yes, the troops are feeling pretty good about things. We have accomplished what we set out to do with minimal casualties.

The feelings of the Iraqi citizens are a mixed bag. Some of them live and breathe Saddam, but a lot of them are extremely happy to see us there. Most are unsure of what to think about the situation.
I do believe in the long run it will all have been worth it. Iraq was not what you would call a "open" society. The opportunities for Iraqi citizens will be enormous once stability is restored. I think the women will prosper the most from all this. As for the looting, well, it is just like any place else. The opportunity has presented itself and some are taking advantage of it.

My sister and I are doing well. We don't have a date of dparture yet, but based on the things that are happening I believe that we will be going home very soon. I would say weeks, not months. Of course things can change...

I do get some down time now and we do have some things in place to keep us busy. We have a basketball court here and some horseshoes. We have weights and a means to watch movies. I spend a lot of my down time just talking with friends and watching movies. And of course we play cards. We have been able to call home on a limited basis. My sister has been able to talk with her kids.

Now on to basketball. Let me first say that I'm extremely happy that the league appears to have averted missing the season. Its no secret you ladies are well underpaid but I guess everything ties into the league as a whole and the success that goes with it. I am extremely interested in who the Mystics are looking at in the draft. I hope they get that big body they need so badly. I wouldn't be mad if they got a nice point guard either. I don't think you would have a problem with Kara Lawson running the point would you?

I expect you to challenge again for the league scoring and rebounding titles. I know you would gladly trade all that in for a championship though. Your day is coming sooner rather than later.

Being overseas is definitely different. I have never been to Korea but I do know that a foreign country by any other name is still a "foreign" country. Personally, its great to visit foreign countries but I don't think I could live in another country. My appreciation for the U.S. grows each time I travel abroad.

I have only been to a hockey game once but I am a avid Capitals fan (I'm a fan of all the local teams). I am a die-hard Redskins fan ... the season can't start soon enough. Unfortunately the Wizards had another disappointing season. Its sad to see Jordan go out like that. I think his mere prescence in the locker room made the players feel a little uneasy. It has to be difficult trying to play with your boss.

Thanks for keeping in touch. Hope to hear from you soon, I know you are a very busy person and I appreciate all the time you have given me.

Take care,
Maurice


From: Chamique Holdsclaw

Sent: Friday, April 18, 2003 3:00 PM
To: Jackson, Maurice SSGT 410 AEW/MXS
Subject: Hello Again

Hi Maurice,

Gosh, so much has happened since we last spoke. Your fellow troops must be feeling pretty good about things. It was so exciting to see our POW's rescued. What a relief. How are you and your sister doing? Do you guys have any idea when you'll be coming back home?

Are the Iraqi citizens receiving our troops kindly now that their freedom is near? Do you get the sense that they are happy we are there? ... What's with all the looting?

Now on to basketball ... now that I'm back in DC, I've been practicing twice a day to prepare for the season. My morning workout consists of running, and general conditioning and then in the afternoons, I play pick-up games at a gym in the area. I'm usually playing with and against guys that love to talk junk to me. Fortunately, when I sink my treys, they shut up for just a second or two. Then it's back to the junk.

You asked about Korea. I was there from December to March. It was very different than playing in the US. My teammates really made me feel welcomed, despite the huge language and cultural differences. The hardest part for me was being away from my family during Christmas, but it was fun to experience something new at the same time. I'm glad to have had the international experience.

As I told you, I was in Atlanta for the women's final four. I was so disappointed for my Vol's and Coach Summit, but no doubt -- they'll be back.

I went to my first hockey game on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, my Caps lost to the Lightning, but the atmosphere was a lot of fun. Have you ever been to a hockey game?

Regarding my Olympic experience, I have to say that it was the most patriotic moment in my life. To be able to stand on the podium with the National Anthem playing and receiving a gold medal on behalf of the United States was an incredible feeling.

Please take care of yourself and your sister and get home safely so you can support the Mystics in person!
I look forward to hearing from you soon. Keep up the great work.

God Bless,
Chamique


From: Jackson, Maurice SSGT 410 AEW/MXS
Sent: Tuesday, April 1, 2003 12:54 AM
To: Chamique Holdsclaw
Subject: Hello again

Wow! I can't believe I'm talking to Chamique Holdsclaw. You have no idea how special you are to me. You bring me so much joy when I watch you play. I assure you that I am a true fan of the game and I hope the league continues to grow and prosper.

Let me start by answering your questions. I wouldn't say that I was scared. Someone in this situation for the first time might be scared. I participated in Desert Storm for seven months also, so I kind of knew what to expect in this situation. When you start to think about how far you are away from home and all of the different things that can go wrong it does give you a creepy feeling though. And after a while you start to ask yourself why am I here. Most people don't want to do what we do. But it has to be done and I am proud to do it. I am doing my part. Me personally, I'm not scared. I have full confidence in the security we have to keep us safe so we can do our jobs.

I don't have any children back home. Why? I don't know. I have never been married either and to some extent the military had a part in that. It appears that a lot of women view military men in a different light for whatever reason. It's like we are in a different category or something as far as men go. It takes a special woman to be with a military man because we are always tasked to go somewhere at some point or another. The burden can be overwhelming at times. I only want to get married once.

It is comforting to have my sister here, but at the same time I would rather she be at home taking care of her kids. I wish she weren't here at all. I could sleep a lot better if she were at home. We were able to call home on occasion before the bombing began but we have been unable to call home since things began. Thank goodness we have email capabilities. I do get to see my sister probably every other day because she lives on the other side of the base. We exchange email everyday though.

Now on to basketball! Are you playing ball in Korea during the off season? If so, how is the competition over there. I know that a lot of WNBA players go overseas during the off season.

I am a Mystics fan till I die but I think for them to get to that next level they MUST get that big body in the middle. Being undersized makes it easier for people to get into foul trouble. I see you having to do a lot more work in the paint. Incidently, I think we all know that you were blatantly robbed last year of the MVP trophy. You were the best player in the game. You are use to winning at every level and I know sometimes you just want to take over. How do you deal with that mentally?

I will definitely accept your invitation to be your guest at a Mystics home game. That would be great and most appreciated. The Mystics do have the best fans. Its such a great atmosphere in the MCI. I love it.

In the tournament ... I am definitely going for the Lady Vols. I hate to sound harsh but I hate them Huskies from Uconn. They seem to have a all-star starting five every year. I must give Taurasi her props though because she has game. I think she was ready for the WNBA last year. She has such poise and never gets rattled. I am a firm believer in Pat Summitt though and I think she will have them ready to play. They should have beat Uconn the last time they played. I'm going with the Lady Vols to win it.

I too look forward to hearing from you again. I hope that you stay healthy this season and I wish you personally and the Mystics the best of luck. Thank you for all your prayers and good wishes.

Thank you,

Maurice


See previous e-mail between Chamique Holdsclaw and SSgt. Maurice Jackson:

March 28-31, 2003