Breaking Through: Beating the Odds Shot after Shot

Breaking Through: Beating the Odds Shot after Shot

by Chamique Holdsclaw
     
 

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On the surface, Chamique Holdsclaw's memoirs, Breaking Through, is an inspiring behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it's like to play professional women's basketball. It's got the thrills, the spills, and the locker room gossip that any sports fan longs to read about and be privy to. Holdsclaw takes her readers on a whirlwind tour of life as a WNBA star, from the

Overview

On the surface, Chamique Holdsclaw's memoirs, Breaking Through, is an inspiring behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it's like to play professional women's basketball. It's got the thrills, the spills, and the locker room gossip that any sports fan longs to read about and be privy to. Holdsclaw takes her readers on a whirlwind tour of life as a WNBA star, from the streets of New York to the streets of the world. From Astoria to Tennessee to Spain to Poland and eventually winding up in Atlanta, we follow Chamique up and down the court of life until we too are winded from the back-and-forth.

But when we stop to catch our breath, we realize this is much more than another sports book. New York features prominently in these pages-its successes, its heartbreaks, its projects and its swanky gyms. The relative security and safety of Holdsclaw's life at Christ the King High School in Queens stands in sharp contrast to her tales of life in the nearby projects, where alcoholism, drug abuse, petty crime and despair have a strong foothold in the rundown buildings and darkened bus stops.

But Holdsclaw does not dwell; she does not sulk. She doesn't have the time, frankly, for we soon find that the life of a young basketball star is full of constant action. From sunup to sundown, Holdsclaw is practicing, shooting, running and negotiating. The decision about which college to attend is almost as harrowing for the readers as it is for Holdsclaw herself, and we breathe a sigh of relief when she makes what is obviously the right choice.

And though we meet Jay-Z and Gabrielle Reece and many other famous sports stars on these pages, the personality we most remember is that of Holdsclaw's grandmother and guardian. She is the calm in Holdsclaw's storm, the light that shines into and illuminates the dark tunnels of choices no child should have to make. June Holdsclaw's steadfast surety is something every child would be fortunate to have, and her granddaughter's testament to her faith and love resonates in these pages.

As Holdsclaw grows up and trades in the streets of New York and a busted up pair of hi-tops for the rigors of academia at the University of Tennessee, the burdens of success become more apparent. The stress of being a star on the court takes its toll mentally, academically, and of course, physically, but Holdsclaw bravely dribbles past these obstacles and fights to stay on top. Which isn't to say she doesn't have her distractions-from boys to friends to tough-as-nails coaches like Pat Summitt, Holdsclaw's busy life bustles and buzzes throughout Breaking Through, making the pages hum with vitality.

And only when Holdsclaw's health fails her, when her team slows down and the winning streak seems to be over, does she come to realize that what's essential in basketball-and of course, in life-isn't speed, or strength, or who you know, or how hard you work, but balance: the fine line between not enough and too much, between carefree and careless. She finally finds hers, and that's what makes this book the powerful read that it is.

At its core, Breaking Through is a testament to the places and people that make us whole and keep us sane-it's a shout out to hard work, love, faith and equilibrium.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780985029807
Publisher:
Chamique Holdsclaw LLC
Publication date:
03/28/2012
Pages:
262
Sales rank:
556,969
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Chamique Holdsclaw grew up in Astoria, Queens, where she was spotted early on for her basketball talents on the rough and busted project courts. She went on to break records at the nationally recognized Christ the King High School in Queens and then at the University of Tennessee, where she was a three time NCAA champion.
After graduating, she was the first pick in 1999's WNBA draft and went to play for the Washington DC Mystics, as well as the Olympic Team, for which she won a gold medal. After a bout with injury and depression in the early 2000s, Holdsclaw became a strong voice for mental health advocacy in sports and in inner cities, and travels across the country inspiring audiences with her story and her strength. She currently lives in Atlanta.

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