The Indiana Fever has made a name for itself by its tough play and effort.
As in any team, some players emerge to be leaders, while others turn into workhorses, and others yet play makers. Tamika Catchings is all of the above for the Indiana Fever and is this seasons top post player.
Before the WNBA
Before Tamika Catchings became a professional basketball star, she was a key player at the University of Tennessee. She learned under the wisdom of one of the sports most respected coaches, Pat Summitt.
Catchings was there from 1997-01 where in her final season she averaged 15.1 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game. 2001 saw Catchings lead her team to a 16-1 record and a No. 2 national ranking. In all four of her seasons with Tennessee she was a Kodak All-American recipient, joining Naismith Player of the Century Chamique Holdsclaw as one of only four women ever to be named four times. Not only was Catchings a star on the court, but off as well.
She graduated a semester ahead of her class with a degree in sport management and went back to get her Master’s degree in 2005. Her senior season also saw her getting a perfect 4.0 GPA and being honored as an Academic All-SEC player.
Last season was very successful for Catchings. In the 34 games played during the season, Catchings started in all games and averaged 31.4 minutes per game. In those 30 minutes, she gave her heart and soul and averaged 18.2 points per game. To go along with this, she also had 4 assists per game, 2.3 steals per game, and a whopping 7.1 rebounds per game. Catchings was 48.4% from the field, 84.9% from the free throw line, and 44.8% from three-point range.
Her 18.2 points per game was enough to earn her a No. 5 ranking in the WNBA for points per game. She had some of the best stats of all her fellow team members, but without them she wouldn’t have been able to have the support and confidence to achieve such great heights. With the team trust in Catchings and her strong work ethic, there isn’t anything the Fever can’t do in the upcoming season.
Catchings has been instrumental in all of her 9 seasons she has been in the WNBA. 7 of her 9 seasons have resulted in some sort of playoff berth. Her best play in the playoffs came in 2002, where she started 0 of the 3 games played, but averaged 20.3 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game, and 2.3 assists per game.
Her next best showing came in 2008, where in 3 games she again averaged 20.3 points per game, 7.7 rebounds per game, and 6 assists per game. Last season was another consistent playoff record for Catchings, as she averaged 18.7 points per game, 8.7 rebounds per game, 3 steals, and 3 assists in 3 games. The 2011 season should no doubt bring Catchings regular season and playoff glory.