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CCOM Symposium 2016

Overcoming Challenges: Embracing Success in Life and on the Court

Wednesday, March 2  |  5:00–7:30 PM  |  Johnson Room  |  BCR Credit

Tamika Catchings Photo

Tamika Catchings is best known as a top-15 all-time WNBA player who has lead the Indiana Fever in numerous statistical categories over fifteen seasons with the organization. She has earned numerous accolades, including:

  • Rookie of the Year (2002)
  • League MVP (2011)
  • Championship and Finals MVP (2012)
  • Defensive Player of the Year (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2012)
  • Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award (2010 and 2013)
  • Three Gold Medals as a member of the USA Women’s Olympic Basketball Team (2004, 2008, and 2012)
  • Indiana Basketball Hall-of-Fame Inductee (2015)
  • Current President of the WNBA Players Association

Catchings has career averages of 16.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.4 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game, and is the only player to ever record a quintuple-double (10 or more of each in the same game). She enters the 2016 season as the WNBA’s active player with the most points, rebounds, steals, and free throws made. She has spent her entire 15-year pro career with the Indiana Fever.

Off the court, Catchings is one of the country’s most highly-regarded citizen-athletes.

Born with a hearing disability, she wore a hearing aid as a young girl. In 2000, she was honored with the Reynolds Society Achievement Award by the world- famous Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, an annual award is given to an individual who has overcome hearing, vision or voice loss and who has distinguished themselves and provided inspiration to others.

Catchings launched the Catch the Stars Foundation, Inc. in Spring 2004 to assist disadvantaged youth in helping to achieve their dreams, compelled to start the foundation because she understands that the youth of today are the stars of tomorrow and the lack of support for our youth results in many never reaching their full potential. The Catch the Stars Foundation empowers under-served and low-income youth in Indianapolis to achieve their dreams by providing goal setting programs that promote fitness, literacy and youth development.

In 2014, Indy Parks and Recreation dedicated Tamika Catchings Court, in Thatcher Park on Indy’s west side, in honor of her good works. In 2013, she served on a mentoring panel at the White House to honor Women’s History Month, speaking with other female luminaries to a group of high school students. She was named by Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton to serve on the U.S. Department of State’s Council to Empower Women and Girls Through Sports, and serving in that capacity with the State Department, she has traveled to Bangkok and Abu Dhabi to engage girls and women in sports. Since the 2012-13 college season, she has been a National Ambassador for the Allstate WBCA Good Works Team, honoring college women’s basketball stars who do good work in their communities. Catchings was the 2012 Honoree for the Pacers Foundation and Simon Youth Foundation Masquerade Gala and prior to the 2013 season, the Catch The Stars Foundation was honored by the Indianapolis City- County Council.

In 2012 alone, she was a spokesperson for Indy’s Super Cure, a community initiative of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee to aid in research and donation of healthy breast tissue; she was named an NBA/WNBA ambassador for Sanofi’s “Dribble to Stop Diabetes” campaign; she was named to serve on the board of trustees of the Women’s Sports Foundation; and appeared with First Lady Michelle Obama in Des Moines, Iowa, as part of Obama’s “Let’s Move Tour,” geared toward solving the problem of childhood obesity.

In 2011, she was voted a Top 5 Finalist for the United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award and one of ten “Dream Team for Public Service” finalists for the Jefferson Award for outstanding service by an athlete. She was invited to President George W. Bush’s State of the Union Address in 2004 and was named a finalist for the 2006 Wooden Citizenship Cup, presented annually to the nation’s top professional athlete who exhibits outstanding community service. She was the 2008 female recipient of the Rotary Club of Tulsa Henry P. Iba Citizen-Athlete Award. She was the first recipient of the WNBA’s Dawn Staley Leadership Award, presented in 2008 to the player who best exemplifies the characteristics of a leader in the community and reflects Staley’s leadership, spirit, charitable efforts and love for the game.