- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Chamique Holdsclaw said she will return to the Washington Mystics lineup for Saturday's home game against the Utah Starzz.

Holdsclaw, who has missed the Mystics' last six games with a high ankle sprain suffered June28 at Portland, will not play in Thursday's 11:30a.m. MCI Center matinee against the lowly, but improving Detroit Shock (3-16).

"I'm shooting for Saturday," Holdsclaw said before last night's WNBA All-Star Game. "I'm going to try to progress this week in rehab and the doctor said the other day that I might be 85 percent."

Until last night, Holdsclaw, who leads the WNBA in scoring (19.9 points) and rebounds (11.8 rebounds), had not given a specific return date.

During Holdsclaw's absence, the Eastern Conference-leading Mystics (14-6) have persevered without their undisputed star. In eight games without Holdsclaw she missed two games at the beginning of the season because of the death of her grandmother the Mystics have gone 5-3.

Now that Holdsclaw has identified her return, the Mystics just need to get through the Shock. Despite the Shock's poor record, this is an important game for the Mystics. A loss to the last-place Shock could be a game that would possibly jeopardize the Mystics' homecourt advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. For now, the Mystics hold a 2½-game lead over the second-place Charlotte Sting (11-8) with 12 games left in the regular season.

Not in this league

New York Liberty point guard Teresa Weatherpoon offered her take on Allen Iverson's troubles with the law and said that would never happen in the WNBA.

"Hopefully, it doesn't happen because our names and personal family lives are out in the open," Weatherspoon said. "You don't hear those things when it comes to us. It's unfortunate that your life is placed in the public's eye and you will be printed for it. You really don't hear those things happening with us.

"I can't tell you that we're better thinkers and that we can think in heated moments better, it's just something we don't get involved in and our personal lives are our personal lives and we keep that private. When you're in the public's eye, you've got to think and control your emotions."

What's a tomboy?

WNBA president Val Ackerman said the word "tomboy" is not spoken or understood by today's younger generation.

"I happened to use the word 'tomboy' in front of my 9-year-old daughter recently and she tugged on my arm after I used it and asked me what the word meant," Ackerman said. "I explained to her that it used to be a girl that played sports. It struck me that when she asked me the question that the word 'tomboy' seems to have dropped out of the vernacular."

Chantelle the great

During her state of the league address last night, Ackerman threw out a few names of current collegians who will carry the WNBA in the future and transform the women's game. That's fine, but Ackerman failed to mention the best returning college player Vanderbilt's 6-foot-6 two-time All-American center, Chantelle Anderson.

"The good news, at least for our sport, is that there is a lot more to come," Ackerman said of the collegiate pipeline. "There is a lot on the horizon, and our teams are already excited about [Connecticut guard] Diana Taurasi and [Duke swing player] Alana Beard and so many other great players who are going to join the league in the near future."

When asked who she would take with the top overall pick in next spring's WNBA Draft, Seattle Storm rookie Sue Bird, the first pick in April's draft, didn't hesitate.

"[Anderson] is as close to a lock as you're going to get," Bird said. "I can't see anybody passing on Chantelle."

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