NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The depression Chamique Holdsclaw battled throughout her WBNA career probably played the biggest role in her decision to retire.
Tennessee's Pat Summitt, Holdsclaw's college coach, said
Holdsclaw first told her she was considering retirement while she
was playing with the Washington Mystics. Summitt, who has worked as
a consultant for the Mystics, flew to Washington "as a coach and a
friend" and spent time with Holdsclaw.
"I said, 'OK, you've got a game tomorrow. Let's just go play
and see how you feel. If it's not in your heart, then you'll
know,'" Summitt said at a Tennessee alumni event in Nashville on
Thursday. "She told me after that game, 'Coach, it's just not in
Holdsclaw, a six-time WNBA All-Star, shocked fans and her team,
the Los Angeles Sparks, when she retired in June after playing five
games. Holdsclaw didn't give a reason for her retirement although
she had earlier acknowledged bouts with depression.
She left the Mystics in July 2004 after seven seasons and played
basketball in Spain before joining the Sparks in 2005. She later
said she left the Mystics because depression caused her to become
increasingly withdrawn from her team, coaches and confidantes.
Summitt said Holdsclaw hasn't decided on what to do in the
future but for now is enjoying life and not being in a routine.
"She just feels like it's best for her not to play if she can't
bring it all every night," she said.
Holdsclaw was the WNBA's No. 1 overall pick in 1999 after
leading Tennessee to three straight NCAA titles.