Tamika Catchings

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Tamika Catchings
Tamika Catchings.jpg
Catchings in 2011
Personal information
Born (1979-07-21) July 21, 1979 (age 37)
Stratford, New Jersey
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight 167 lb (76 kg)
Career information
High school Adlai E. Stevenson (Lincolnshire, Illinois)
Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas)
College Tennessee (1997–2001)
WNBA draft 2001 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3rd overall
Selected by the Indiana Fever
Playing career 2002–2016
Position Forward
Number 24
Career history
20022016 Indiana Fever
2003 Chuncheon Woori Bank Hansae
2005–2006 Spartak Moscow
2006 Chuncheon Woori Bank Hansae
2007 Chuncheon Woori Bank Hansae
2008–2009 Lotos Gdynia
2009–2011 Galatasaray
Career highlights and awards
Stats at WNBA.com

Tamika Devonne Catchings (born July 21, 1979) is an American retired professional basketball player who played her entire 14-year career with Indiana Fever of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and Turkish team Galatasaray.

She is a prolific scorer close to and far from the basket, as well as a capable rebounder, ball handler, and defender. After playing at Adlai E. Stevenson High School and graduating from Duncanville High School, Tamika Catchings became one of the stars of the University of Tennessee women's basketball team. In 2001, she was drafted by the Indiana Fever. After sitting out the entire year in which she was drafted due to injury, she had an all-star rookie season in 2002.

In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history. Catchings is a ten-time WNBA All-Star, a twelve-time All-WNBA selection and is famous for recording the first ever quintuple-double (25 points, 18 rebounds, 11 assists, 10 steals and 10 blocks in 1997). She serves as President of the WNBA Players Association as of the 2012 season.


Catchings was born in Stratford, New Jersey. She played for Duncanville High School in Duncanville, Texas, where she was named a WBCA All-American.[1] She participated in the WBCA High School All-America Game where she scored twelve points.[2] She is also the first player at any level in history to be officially credited with scoring a quintuple-double.

Catchings was an All-American with the Tennessee Lady Volunteers basketball for 1997–2001. As a freshman on the undefeated 1997–98 National champions, she was part of the "Meeks" with Semeka Randall and Chamique Holdsclaw. Catchings was drafted by the Indiana Fever in 2001. Unable to play in the 2001 season due to an ACL injury sustained during her senior year at Tennessee, she had an outstanding year in 2002 and was named WNBA Rookie of the Year. She has led Indiana Fever in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks in 6 of her 11 WNBA seasons. Catchings played for the USA women's basketball team at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, helping the team win the gold medal.

In 2005, she scored her 2,000th point in the WNBA. With this she became the fastest player to score 2000 career points in the WNBA, reaching the milestone in only four seasons of play. She is also the fastest to 1,000 rebounds, 400 assists, and 300 steals. In 2005, Catchings was also named the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year. Catchings then repeated as Defensive Player of the Year in 2006. She was again named Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010. Also during the 2009 season she led her Indiana Fever to their first ever Eastern Conference championship, however they fell short in their quest to win the WNBA title as they were defeated in five games by the Phoenix Mercury.

In 2006, she was voted into the 2006 WNBA All-Star Game, and was also the leading vote-getter, but had to sit out because of a foot injury. At half-time she was announced as a member of the All-Decade Team along with 9 other players and former Comets coach Van Chancellor. Five years later she was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in the fifteen-year history of the WNBA.[3]

Catchings was selected to be a member of the National team representing the USA at the World Championships held in September and October 2010. The team was coached by Geno Auriemma. Because many team members were still playing in the WNBA until just prior to the event, the team had only one day of practice with the entire team before leaving for Ostrava and Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. Even with limited practice, the team managed to win its first games against Greece by 26 points. The team continued to dominate with victory margins exceeding 20 points in the first five games. Several players shared scoring honors, with Swin Cash, Angel McCoughtry, Maya Moore, Diana Taurasi, Lindsay Whalen, and Sylvia Fowles all ending as high scorer in the first few games. The sixth game was against undefeated Australia — the USA jumped out to a 24-point lead and the USA prevailed 83–75. The USA won its next two games by over 30 points, then faced the host team, the Czech Republic, in the championship game. The USA team had only a five-point lead at halftime, which was cut to three points, but the Czechs never got closer. Team USA went on to win the championship and gold medal. Catchings averaged 8.8 points per game.[4]

Months before the 2008 season, the Fever traded for hometown all-star guard Katie Douglas (who would play with the team until 2013) to pair up with Catchings, forming an all-star duo to compete for a championship and strengthen their lineup.

In 2009, Catchings would earn her first WNBA finals appearance. She led the league in steals with 2.9 SPG and helped lead the Indiana Fever to a 22-12 record, earning the top seed in the eastern conference. In the finals they faced the Phoenix Mercury and had a 2-1 series lead but would lose the next two games to be defeated in the finals 3-2.

In 2011, Catchings won WNBA Most Valuable Player while averaging 15.5 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 3.5 APG and 2.0 SPG also leading the Indiana Fever to a 21-13 record, topping the eastern conference standings. However, in the playoffs she performed poorly offensively averaging a playoff career low 10.0 PPG. The Indiana Fever would end up making it to the eastern conference finals where they got eliminated 2-1 to the Atlanta Dream.

In 2012, the Indiana Fever finished second in the eastern conference with a 22-12 record. They made it back to finals that year, this time against the championship defending Minnesota Lynx, but they would defeat Minnesota 3-1 in the series becoming only the second eastern conference franchise to win a WNBA title, despite playing without Katie Douglas who suffered an ankle injury in the conference finals. Catchings scored a game-high 25 points in the final game of the series and also won WNBA Finals MVP.[5]

On August 23, 2014 she set the all time WNBA playoff scoring record off a three-point field goal in Game 3 of the eastern conference semifinals against the Washington Mystics surpassing Lisa Leslie's 908 career playoff points. She finished the game with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 7 steals also surpassing Lisa Leslie for most WNBA career playoff rebounds (471).[6]

In October 2014 in a TV interview, she revealed that she will be retiring after the 2016 Summer Olympics. She said:

"I will be retiring in 2016, Lord willing, if my body holds up. Although I plan to step away as a player that is not to say I'll step away from the game, hopefully. I am so thankful and blessed to have had an opportunity to play the game I have loved for so long. God has truly blessed me with an amazing playing career, and now it's time to start transitioning to what He has for me beyond the lines of the basketball floor."[7]

In the 2015 season, Catchings was voted as a WNBA all-star for the 10th time in her career, averaging 13.1 PPG. The Indiana Fever finished third in the eastern conference with a 20-14 record and made it back to the finals for the first time in 3 years for a rematch with the Minnesota Lynx, this time with Minnesota winning the series 3-2.

In the 2016 season, Tamika Catchings caught her 3,308th rebound in a regular season game loss to the Minnesota Lynx becoming the WNBA all-time leader in regular season rebounds also passing Lisa Leslie. Catchings's final WNBA game was on September 21, 2016 in a first round playoff game loss to the Phoenix Mercury, due to the WNBA's new playoff format that had just been in effect, where the first and second rounds contains only a single elimination game instead of the traditional best-of-3 series. Also teams get seeded based on overall league standings instead of conference standings with the top two seeded teams receiving double byes to the semifinals (the last round before the WNBA finals).[8][9] Catchings scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 30 minutes of play.

As of her retirement, Catchings ranks 1st all-time in career playoff points, 1st all-time in career playoff rebounds, 1st in all-time regular season rebounds and 2nd in all-time career regular season scoring. She also holds the WNBA record for most consecutive playoff appearances of 12 straight seasons. Catchings had also appeared in 3 WNBA finals.

WNBA career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game  RPG  Rebounds per game
 APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
 TO  Turnovers per game  FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 Bold  Career high League leader

Regular season[edit]


USA Basketball[edit]

Catchings was named to the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team (now called the U18 team). The team participated in the third Junior World Championship, held in Chetumal, Mexico in late August and early September 1996. The USA team won their early games easily, but lost by four points to the team from Brazil, ending up with the silver medal for the event.[10]

Catchings continued with the team when it was invited to the 1997 FIBA Junior World Championship (now called U19) held in Natal, Brazil. After beating Japan, the next game was against Australia, the defending champion. The USA team pulled out to a 13-point lead in the second half, but gave up the lead and lost the game 80–74. She had a double-double in the game with 17 points and ten rebounds. The USA rebounded with a close 92–88 victory over Cuba, helped by 23 points each from Maylana Martin and Lynn Pride. The USA then went on to beat previously unbeaten Russia. After winning the next two games, the USA faced Australia in the gold medal game. The USA team has a three-point lead late, but the Aussies hit a three-pointer with three seconds left in regulation to force overtime. Although the Aussies scored first, Catchings scored to tie the game, then the USA pulled into the lead and held on to win 78–74 to earn the gold, and the first medal for a USA team at a Junior World Championship. Catchings was the second leading scorer for the USA team with 13.2 points per game and the leading rebounder with 7.2 per game.[11]

In 1998, Catchings was named to the team representing the USA at the William Jones Cup competition in Taipei, Taiwan. The USA team won all five games, earning the gold medal for the competition. Catchings averaged 6.4 points per game over the five games.[12]

Catchings was invited to the USA Basketball Women's National Team training camp in the fall of 2009.[13] The team selected to play for the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Olympics is usually chosen from these participants. At the conclusion of the training camp, the team will travel to Ekaterinburg, Russia, where they compete in the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational.[13]

Catchings was named as one of the National team members to represent the USA Basketball team in the WNBA versus USA Basketball.[14] This game replaces the normal WNBA All-Star game with WNBA All-Stars versus USA Basketball, as part of the preparation for the FIBA World Championship for Women to be held in the Czech Republic during September and October 2010.[15]

Catchings was one of 21 finalists for the U.S. Women’s Olympic Basketball Team Roster. The 20 professional women's basketball payers, plus one collegiate player (Brittney Griner), were selected by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee to compete for the final roster which will represent the USA at the 2012 Olympics in London.[16] She was selected for the final roster, and was part of the US team that won the gold medal.[17][18]

In the 2016 Summer Olympics, Catchings played for Team USA and earned her fourth olympic gold medal as they beat Spain 101-72.


Catchings is the daughter of former NBA player Harvey Catchings. Her sister Tauja also played basketball at Stevenson and the University of Illinois, was drafted by the WNBA and now plays in Sweden. Tamika's cousin Bobby is a starting forward for Eastern Illinois University's basketball team. Tamika majored in Sports Management at the University of Tennessee.

Catchings helped Stevenson High School to Illinois's IHSA Div. AA State Championship in her Sophomore year in 1995 under head coach Frank Mattucci before moving to Texas.[19] During her sophomore year at Stevenson she won Illinois Ms. Basketball (which at the time was the youngest player to ever win the award). In addition to leading Duncanville High to the state basketball title in her senior season (she played only two years at Duncanville after moving from the Chicago area), she also led the volleyball team to its only state title as a junior.

Catchings was born with a hearing loss; 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. Catchings is a leading figure in the Indianapolis community, having started the Catch the Stars Foundation, Inc. which helps disadvantaged youth achieve their dreams. On June 24, 2008 Catchings was awarded the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award for her work in the Indianapolis community with her foundation.[20]

Catchings refereed a game of 3-on-3 basketball played by Barack Obama along with local students from Kokomo, Indiana at the Maple Crest Middle School on April 25, 2008. Fever teammate Alison Bales also played on Obama's team.

In February 2016, Catchings married Parnell Smith, whom she had met in July 2014 through a mutual friend.[21]

Awards and achievements[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Past WBCA HS Coaches' All-America Teams". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 1 Jul 2014. 
  2. ^ "WBCA High School All-America Game Box Scores". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 29 Jun 2014. 
  3. ^ http://www.wnba.com/allstar/2011/top15_072311.html
  4. ^ "Sixteenth World Championship For Women -- 2010". USA Basketball. October 15, 2013. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  5. ^ http://fever.wnba.com/photos/relive-the-fevers-2012-championship-run/
  6. ^ http://www.indystar.com/story/sports/basketball/wnba/fever/2014/08/23/tamika-catchings-scores-fever-advance-past-mystics/14510175/
  7. ^ WNBA star Tamika Catchings to retire after 2016 Olympics
  8. ^ http://www.sbnation.com/2016/9/21/12972838/wnba-playoffs-2016-bracket-format-schedule-reaction
  9. ^ http://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/09/the-wnbas-new-single-elimination-playoff-format-cut-short-a-legendary-players-final-season
  10. ^ "Third Women's Junior World Championship Qualifying Team -- 1996". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Fourth FIBA Women's U19/Junior World Championship -- 1997". USA Basketball. January 20, 2011. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  12. ^ "1998 Women's R. William Jones Cup". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "USA Basketball Women's National Team To Tip-Off Training Tomorrow In D.C.". USA Basketball. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  14. ^ "Six Olympic Gold Medalists Among 11-Member Team Set To Participate In WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Stars at the Sun Game". USA Basketball. June 30, 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2010. 
  15. ^ "FIBA World Championship for Women". FIBA. Retrieved July 5, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Twenty-One Finalists In The Mix For Final 2012 U.S. Women's Olympic Basketball Team Roster". USA Basketball. February 13, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Team USA Profile". http://london2012.fiba.com/. FIBA. Retrieved 15 November 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  18. ^ "London 2012 - Women's Basketball". www.olympic.org. IOC. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  19. ^ Williams, Lena. "OLYMPICS; Taking a Legacy To New Heights", The New York Times, August 3, 2004. Accessed November 4, 2007. "Even now that Tamika, 25, is a star in her own right, her father's legacy continues to shadow her. It was there at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill."
  20. ^ "Indiana's Tamika Catchings Named Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award Recipient". WNBA.com. June 24, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  21. ^ http://www.wthr.com/article/indiana-fever-star-mrs-tamika-catchings-smith-introduces-new-husband

External links[edit]