Tamika Catchings - Biography - American Professional Basketball Player ( WNBA ) and Olympian

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Tamika Devonne Catchings is a well-known American professional basketball player who plays for ‘Indiana Fever’ of WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) and Turkish team named as Galatasaray.

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Before her professional play, Tamika played for Duncanville High School in Texas, and she was named a WBCA All-American there. Catching comes from a family where most of the members are sports-person. At the University of Tennessee, she majored in Sports Management. Tamika was born with a hearing disability and she wore a hearing aid since her childhood days. She was named as one of the ‘Top 15 Players’ in WNBA by her fans and she serves as a president of ‘WNBA Players Association’ as of 2012 season. She wears number 24 on court since it is the opposite of what her father wore, that is 42. 2

Early Life

Tamika Catchings was born on June 21st, 1979; in New Jersey. She started playing basketball since her early days as her dad Harvey played in the NBA for LA Clippers, New Jersey, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia. But something made her life at school difficult because she was born with a hearing loss and she had to wear a hearing aid which made her get teased by her schoolmates most of the times.

Professional Career

Catching’s career took off when she participated in the WBCA High Scholl All-American Game where she managed to score 12 points for her team. From 1997 to 2001, she played for All-American with the Tennessee Lady Volunteers basketball. In 2001, she was called upon by Indiana Fever and she was signed in for the team. However; due to her ACL injury back at the Tennessee, she was unable to make a play in the 2001 season.

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In 2002, Catchings had an amazing year since she was named WNBA Rookie of the Year. In 2004, she joined USA Women’s Basketball Team at the Summer Olympic Games in Athens and she led the team to victory making them bring the Gold home. Not long after the Olympics; in 2005, she scored her 2000th points in WNBA which made her become the ‘Fastest Player to Score 2000 Career Points’ and reaching there in only 4 seasons of play.

Tamika was named ‘Defensive Player of the Year’ in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010. During the 2009 season, she headed her team Indiana Fever to their first ‘Eastern Conference Championship’. But yet, they fell short to win the WNBA title as they were defeated 5 times by the Phoenix Mercury. In 2011, she won the ‘WNBA Most Valuable Player’ and also leading the Fever to a 21-13 record, making it to the top in the eastern conference standings.

On August 23rd, 2014, Tamika set the record by putting in 22 points, 7 steals and 10 rebounds surpassing Lisa Leslie for playoff rebounds. After the 2014 season; she was ranked 1st in all-time career playoff points, ranked 1st in career playoff rebounds and 3rd in all-time season scoring. During the 2015 season, Fever finished 3rd in the Eastern Conference Championship. And in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Tamika played for Team USA alongside Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi; where she brought her 4th Gold Medal home as they made a victory against Spain by 101-72.

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Personal Life

She comes from a family where almost all of her family members are Sports Person. Tamika is the daughter of former NBA star Harvey Catchings and mother Wanda Catchings. She has a brother named, Kenyon who is an Area Manager at TearLab Corporation in St. Louis. Her sister Tauja played for the University of Illinois and Stevenson and who plays in Sweden at present.As per recent date, Catching announced the name of her future husband, Parnell Smith; and they are soon to get married. Catching’s cousin Bobby plays for Eastern Illinois University.

Parnell Smith and Tamika Catchings.

Parnell Smith and Tamika Catchings.

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 Regardless of basketball, she also played volleyball and led her team to their only state title as a junior.  Since she has a hearing disability; in 2000, Tamika was honored with ‘Reynolds Society Achievement Award’ in Boston by Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Speaking of her height, she stands 6 feet and 1 inch.

Net worth and Value

It is believed that her annual salary as of 2016 is $395,000 and her net worth is $5,070,000. Her base salary is somewhere around $335,000 and her market value as per 2016 is $12,675,000.