Chat with Tamika Catchings
Catchings is a member of the WNBA All-Decade Team.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings stops by to chat about the 25th annual celebration of National Girls & Women in Sports Day.
Catchings, a nine-year veteran of the WNBA, is the only player in WNBA history to rank among the top 25 all-time leaders in points (4,665; 8th), rebounds (2,134; 8th), assists (1,032; 10th), steals (708; 2nd) and blocks (248; 14th). She is a four-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, five-time All-Star and a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
As the president of the WNBA Players Association, Catchings is as active in the community as she is on the basketball court. She founded "Catch the Stars Foundation Inc." in 2004 which provides academic and sports related programs for at-risk youth.
Send your questions now and join Catchings Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:55 PM)
Tamika is here!
With today being National Girls and Women in Sports Day, can you look back and see how far have women's sports come, in general, from what you saw as a child?
Tamika Catchings (2:58 PM)
Oh man, it's been a total 360 degree turn around. When I first started playing sports, with a soccer team, we had an all girls squad, even though there weren't many of us playing. In basketball, we played on a boys team. From looking to that to where we are now with the WNBA and the opportunities that we have here and across the water, it's come a long way.
Hey Tamika!! What's your favorite arena to play in? I'm originally from North Chicago, IL and used to watch you, Tauja, and your brother back at Stevenson!!
Tamika Catchings (2:59 PM)
Oooh, good question. Hmmm. It's funny, I don't have a favorite one. I, of course, love to play at home. I would have to say San Antonio would be my favorite now. My mom and dad live in Texas now, so everyone comes to the game.
What advice would you give to a girl who said she wanted to be like you?
Tamika Catchings (3:00 PM)
My advice to any young girl or boy that aspires to be me or a professional athlete is to be better than me. It's great that young girls have female athletes to look up to as role models. My mom and dad always made sure that I could achieve anything. That's my advice for any young girl or boy that wants to be a professional athlete.
Lois (Camden ny)
when will you be leaving to go overseas? And where are you going?
Tamika Catchings (3:00 PM)
I'm actually headed back to Istanbul, Turkey. I'm supposed to be leaving on Saturday, depending on the weather.
Tamika, Who do you think is going to win the super bowl?
Tamika Catchings (3:01 PM)
I'm going for the Steelers. Don't ask me why, it might be the black and yellow. I don't know.
if you werent playing basketball what would u be doin
Tamika Catchings (3:02 PM)
I don't know what I'd be doing, as far as my profession, but I know my passion is helping kids. So, whatever I would be doing, it'd be helping kids.
Do you believe that you have a role in the history of women's sports in the United States?
Tamika Catchings (3:03 PM)
I do. I think that all of us playing in th eWNBA have a huge role and responsibilty in the league and women's sports overall. Hopefully the path that we pave in the WNBA will be one that's used all across women's sports, the softball league, the hockey league, everything, all across women's sports.
How important is what you do for WNBA Cares? What is your favorite thing to do in the community?
Tamika Catchings (3:04 PM)
First of all, it's really important what we do. The stuff that we do on the court is great, but I think what we're able to do in the community is great. Read to Achieve is probably the most important thing that we do. Spending time with these kids. And the Get Fit. Not just with the WNBA, but with my foundation. All of the work that we do in the community is a blessing to be able to go out and help these young kids.
Hey Catch, what do you think of the Fever Pick up of Tangela Smith?
Tamika Catchings (3:05 PM)
I'm excited. I'm excited about her joining our team. Losing Ebony, one of my good friends on the team over the years, was a big of a downer, but Tangela brings a number of things to our team. That will hopefully help us.
Matt (Sandusky, OH)
Besides Maya Moore and Brittney Griner, who is currently your favorite player to watch in women's college basketball and why?
Tamika Catchings (3:06 PM)
When you look at Maya and Brittney, they're two different players. Maya plays on the wing, like me. Brittney plays down low and bangs down low. I enjoy watching both of them. Playing with Maya, I've developed a relationship with her on USA Basketball, seeing what she can do on the court. Any time you can see someone having success in basketball, you want to support them and see them do well.
Will it seem strange having a former teammate as your asst coach?
Tamika Catchings (3:08 PM)
Yeah, it's going to be strange, but not really. We've been on the same team before and she's always been a player/coach. I know that was something she would be good at. The way the players interacted with her, everyone enjoyed playing with her. A lot of the fans are excited to have her and the team is excited to have her.
Who is your favorite NBA team? I am a Celtics fan :)
Tamika Catchings (3:08 PM)
Honestly, I watch basketball, but I'm not a follower of it. There are certain players I might watch, but I don't really have a favorite team.
Tamika Catchings (3:09 PM)
For me, it's all about getting better as a player, so it'a all about watching different players and trying out different moves.
Why is it important to you to be an inspiration to younger girls?
Tamika Catchings (3:10 PM)
My start with community work started when I was a younger girl. My dad played in the NBA and they also had to do community work. So my mom and dad made sure we were around helping people. As I've gotten older to the point that I've gotten to now, there have been a lot of people that have helped me. So it's important to give these kids the same opportunities that I received.
do you think there will be more trades involving the Fever?
Tamika Catchings (3:11 PM)
I'm sure something will happen, but I'm moving in and out of town so much that I'm not sure what will happen. But I'm sure there will be some more changes.
Tamika Catchings (3:12 PM)
Thank you guys for logging on today. It's been a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to the start of the WNBA season in May. Catch the Fever!