Mind/Game’s portrait of “the female Michael Jordan,” from troubled family life to basketball superstardom, reveals a long-hidden battle with mental illness.  But even as Holdsclaw begins to embrace her emotional challenges and emerge as an outspoken mental health advocate, she encounters new obstacles to her own recovery.  Narrated by Glenn Close.

Synopsis: 

From the rough-edged courts of Astoria, Queens and recruited by Coach Pat Summitt for the University of Tennessee’s Lady Vols, Chamique Holdsclaw was hailed as the “female Michael Jordan,” impressing crowds with her artistry, athleticism and drive.  A 3-time NCAA champ and No.1 draft pick in the WNBA, Holdsclaw seemed destined for a spectacular professional career—until her long-suppressed battle with mental illness threatened to derail her life. 

Mind/Game intimately chronicles Holdsclaw’s athletic accomplishments and personal setbacks, and her decision—despite public stigma— to become an outspoken mental health advocate. Still, she would face dramatic, unexpected challenges to her own recovery.  The film, narrated by Glenn Close, tells a powerful story of courage, struggle, and redemption.

Director's Commentary: 

My uncle endured 60 years of schizophrenia that began when he was in the Navy during World War II. He was a gentle soul, a creative artist and musician, but interacted little with others and lived a life of inner turmoil. Aside from medication, he got very little help. I always wondered, why?

I was drawn to Chamique Holdsclaw’s story from the day I read a piece on her in The New York Times in early 2012. She’d been the best of the best, took a great fall, but emerged in recovery as a mental health advocate, remarkably candid about her own challenges. She was fighting the good fight about something very few are comfortable with talking about. Indeed, mental illness comes with great stigma—it is perhaps the final taboo of America’s pressing social problems.

What came as a shock was the turmoil in Chamique’s life that emerged during production.  But both she and I stuck with the film and the resultant story, warts and all, became all the more compelling, revealing, inspiring and, most importantly, useful, for its many and diverse intended audiences.