Black History Month Profiles: Tamika Catchings
On the court, Indiana Fever’s Tamika Catchings has left an impression, leading her team in points, rebounds, steals and assists each year in her first six seasons. She was named the 2011 MVP for the WNBA and to her sixth All-WNBA First Team. She is currently no. 6 on the WNBA’s all-time leaders list for points scored (amassing 5,176 after the 2011 season) and for all-time rebound totals. She is no. 11 on the all-time list for points per game with 16.5.
Catchings joined the Fever in 2001 as a first-round draft pick (third overall) out of Tennessee. She earned WNBA Rookie of the Year honors in 2002 and has stayed steady throughout her career, despite missing half of the 2007 season with a knee injury. She has played in numerous WNBA All-Star games and won MVP or runner-up repeatedly.
In addition, Catchings has played on the USA national women’s basketball team since 2002, helping lead the US to gold medals in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic games. She also earned three gold medals and one silver medal with USA basketball teams prior to that. She also played for the Women’s Korean Basketball Team during the offseasons in 2002 and 2006, leading the Woori Bank Hansae team to a regular season title in ’02.
At Tennessee, Catchings made a name for herself and her No. 24 jersey, which UT retired in 2003. She recently was inducted in the Lady Volunteers Hall of Fame as a rare four-time Kodak All-American and the 2000 Naismith Player of the Year. In her four seasons, Catchings led the Lady Vols to a national championship in 1998 and a No. 2 finish in 2001. She amassed 2,113 points and 1,004 rebounds in her career at Tennessee, averaging 15.6 points per game.
Besides her successful career, Catchings runs her Catch the Stars Foundation, focusing on sports, fitness and academics for at-risk youth in Indianapolis. She is active in other WNBA charity efforts and has been honored by the league for her work.
29. February 2012 03:01
News | General