Sparks Forward Chamique Holdsclaw Retires

Chamique Holdsclaw

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Sparks announced today that veteran forward Chamique Holdsclaw has elected to retire from the WNBA.

A six-time All-Star, Holdsclaw, who turns 30 on Aug. 9, joined the Sparks in 2005. She led the team in points and free throws made and consistently ranked in the top three in the league for points, minutes, and field goals. Holdsclaw has averaged 15.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game in the first five games of the 2007 season.

"This was not an easy decision,” Holdsclaw said. “I put a lot of thought into it. I am very grateful for the career I have enjoyed in amateur and professional basketball and will take many fond memories with me. What I will miss most are my teammates and the great friendships I have developed through the years and the fans from arena to arena that have supported me. I want to wish the Sparks great success this season and in the years ahead.”

"We will miss Chamique in many ways,” said Sparks’ head coach Michael Cooper. "It won’t be easy, but we will go on without her.”

"We are very sorry to lose Chamique,” said Sparks’ general manager Penny Toler. "She has been a great contributor and leader for our team. However, we respect her decision and want to wish her the very best in her retirement from professional basketball.”

Chamique has been a cornerstone to the Sparks’ success,” said co-owner Carla Christofferson. “We will miss her presence on court and off. We want to wish her great happiness in her future endeavors wherever they may lead.”

Prior to joining the Sparks, Holdsclaw starred for seven seasons with the Washington Mystics, where she was named the WNBA's Rookie of the Year in 1999. Holdsclaw led the University of Tennessee's Lady Vols to three consecutive NCAA Championships and was Tennessee's all-time leading scorer and rebounder (male or female) with 3,025 points and 1,295 rebounds. She was only the fifth women's basketball player in NCAA history to reach 3,000 points.