Bloomington Native Catches Tamika in Game of HORSE

August 8, 2005
For 17-year old Whitney Quimby, shooting around with idol Tamika Catchings was the chance of a lifetime. It was such an incredible opportunity that she spent some of her hard earned savings to win a game of HORSE with the basketball star on the WNBA’s Breast Health Awareness online auction, proceeds of which go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

She tried to win last year, but was outbid. Not to be denied, she tried again when the auction came around again in July. Her dream came true when she won the bid in this year’s auction.

Catchings extended an invite to Whitney to play the game of HORSE before the team’s 10:00 a.m. shooting practice on August 6, prior to the Fever’s matchup with the Connecticut Sun. Whitney rose and took the long-anticipated drive with her family to Conseco Fieldhouse to meet the WNBA All-Star. Stepping onto the arena floor, she was amazed at the enormity of the 18,345-capacity building. It was quite a difference from the smaller confines of the gym at Edgewood High School, where she will be a senior on the school's basketball team next year.

Whitney shook off the bewildered haze once she found the basketball in her hands. She was quick to get in some practice shots and it did not take long to find her range. She proceeded to knock down shot after shot in her warm-up. Despite her claims of being nervous, she did not show it on the court; instead, Whitney revealed a remarkable shooting touch that told Catchings she would have a formidable challenge on her hands.

Catchings greeted her challenger with a smile and hug, as if the two had been long time friends. She took a few shots of her own before the game began.

Whitney hit an array of jumpers to begin the contest, with Catchings matching the teen for a few shots before finding herself in a “H”-“O”-“R” deficit. Tamika bounced back with a jumper that gave Quimby her first letter, but the Bloomington sharpshooter kept scorching the net.

From deep and close range, she tested the Fever star. Tamika just could not catch up. The letters “S” and “E” quickly followed for Catchings, and she requested a second chance on her last shot. Even that fell short as Whitney flashed a victorious smile.

As the rest of the Fever team came onto the court, Tamika introduced Whitney to her teammates and coaches. Many of them teasing Catchings when they found out that the teenager had gotten the best of her. Whitney and her family were then invited by Catchings to stay and watch the team during its early practice.

As they watched the shoot-around, cell phones were buzzing as Whitney and her family members were telling others of the experience. And beaming the entire time was Whitney Quimby, the teenager from Bloomington who had just out-shot one of the best women’s basketball players in the world.