Women’s History Month: Tamika Catchings

March is Women’s History Month and was started in 1981 as “Women’s History Week.” It later officially became a month long celebration in 1995. Join Vibin’ Courtside during the entire month of March as we celebrate just a few of the women who are currently doing the dang thing!

Tamika Catchings is one of, if not the best, all-around players in WNBA history. The nine-time All-Star recently signed her final pro contract that extends into 2016 with the only franchise that she has ever played for in her 14-year active career; the Indiana Fever. Catchings led the Fever to their first and only championship in 2012, where she also picked up Finals MVP. She is the league’s all-time leader in steals and currently sits third on the scoring list. With career averages of 16.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals, it is easy to see why she was named as a member of the WNBA’s 10th anniversary All-Decade team and listed as one of the 15 Greatest Players in league history.

“It can happen. That’s the good thing.”

Catchings has been one of the game’s greatest ambassadors on and off the court. Born with a hearing impairment, she has used her platform to encourage those who may feel like they do not belong because of their differences. She founded the non-profit foundation Catch the Stars in 2004. The foundation aims to bolster the self-esteem of young girls and boys while promoting health and fitness. In 2013, she served on a mentoring panel at the White House to honor Women’s History Month. Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton tapped her to serve on the U.S. Department of State’s Council to Empower Women and Girls Through Sports. From 2012-14, she was the National Ambassador for the Allstate WBCA Good Works Team, honoring college women’s basketball stars who do good work in their communities.

Take a peek at just a few more of Tamika Catchings accomplishments:

  • Only player, male or female, to post a quintuple-double in a single basketball game (25 points, 18 rebounds, 11 assists, 10 steals and 10 blocks while attending Duncanville High School in 1997.

  • Named Miss Basketball in two different states (Illinois and Texas).

  • Helped lead legendary program Tennessee to an unbeaten 39-0 season as a freshman and was also named Freshman of the Year for the 1997-98 season. She finished her collegiate career as a four-time All-American.

  • She will finish her career in the WNBA’s all-time top 10 in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. She is the only player to reach the top 10 in all categories. (Remember, she still has two seasons left to play). Sheesh.

  • Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist (2004, 2008, and 2012) and will be shooting for an unprecedented fourth in 2016. Only two other American players, male or female, have won four gold medals (Lisa Leslie and Teresea Edwards).

  • WNBA all-time leader in steals and named Defensive Player of the Year a record five times (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2012).

  • WNBA MVP for 2011 season.

  • All-time postseason leader in points and rebounds.

Although the women’s game continues to evolve, we will likely never see a talent like Tamika Catchings again. Here’s to hoping that these next two years go by slowly.


One comment

  1. With such accomplishments the WNBA players can’t even get half of what a bench player in the NBA gets.

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