New Year Fever News
January 11, 2006
As the calendar turns to 2006 and a new season approaches for the Indiana Fever, here is a quick look at happenings within the Fever franchise!
The WNBA free agency period is quickly approaching, with Indiana eager to pursue post help following the retirement of veteran center Natalie Williams. The Fever also is anticipating news on the status of Jurgita Streimikyte for the 2006 season. Streimikyte, a veteran player from Lithuania, is a candidate to remain in Europe to train for the 2006 World Championships with her national team.
WNBA teams may begin conversations and negotiations with players beginning Jan. 15. Players may sign free agent contracts with teams beginning Feb. 1. Current Fever center Kelly Schumacher, a WNBA veteran of five seasons, is a restricted free agent and may negotiate with other teams. Indiana, however, has the right to match the terms of any contract offer and retain her playing rights.
FeverBasketball.com will re-launch its website with a new design and new features within the next month! Keep clicking back for progress updates on the new site.
The WNBA Draft will take place in early April, and Fever coaches are busy scouting college talent and talent overseas. Indiana has the 12th pick in the upcoming draft, with its strategy largely dependent on Fever prospects in the free agent market.
Indiana coaches are ramping up their scouting schedule of college games across the country. GM Kelly Krauskopf and coaches Brian Winters and Julie Plank are covering college games from coast-to-coast. While evaluating top collegiate juniors and seniors, players being watched come from schools across the nation which include: UCLA, Michigan State, Texas Tech, Duke, Georgia, Texas, Rutgers, LSU, North Carolina, Connecticut and Baylor.
You want a travel schedule? Checkout Fever assistant coach Lin Dunn this month! While scouting foreign talent and watching Fever players overseas, Dunn is literally touring the globe. Stay tuned for global reports!
The 2006 schedule was announced in late December, with the Fever slated to open its campaign with a home matchup on Saturday, May 20 against conference rival Detroit. Five of the Fever’s 17 home games will fall during a two-week homestand in late July. Two games, May 30 vs. New York and Aug. 1 at Detroit, will be telecast as part of the WNBA’s new Tuesday night television package on ESPN2.
Indiana begins its seventh season in 2006, while the WNBA celebrates its 10th Anniversary. Stay tuned for events and contests to commemorate the special season!
Tamika Catchings is one of three high-profile finalists for the Wooden Citizenship Cup, honoring a professional athlete with outstanding community service. She joins Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb as finalists for the award, to be presented Jan. 24. Catchings, who is playing professionally in Korea this month, will be represented at the awards banquet by her brother, Kenyon.
Catchings is one of 10 Fever players still playing overseas. After two months with Spartak Moscow in Russia, Catchings has returned to the team in Korea, Woori Bank Hansae, that she led to a pair of WKBL championships in 2003. Following this year’s WKBL playoffs which end in March, she may also return to Spartak Moscow for the final weeks of EuroCup playoff competition.
As play heats up in Europe, Kelly Miller and Jurgita Streimikyte are among leaders in contention to advance in the EuroLeague qualifying round. Miller’s team, US Valenciennes Olympic (Paris, France), is currently atop Group C with just one loss, at the hands of Streimikyte’s team – Lietuvos Telekomas (Vilnius, Lithuania). Both teams are already assured of advancing to the EuroLeague’s “Sweet 16,” Jan. 31 to Feb. 8.
Elsewhere in Europe, four teams with Fever players are still active in the EuroCup “Sweet 16” which plays home-and-away games on Jan. 12 and Jan. 19. Kelly Schumacher (Avenida, Spain), Ebony Hoffman (Ribera, Italy) and Tan White (Istanbul, Turkey) all remain active. Spartak Moscow, which featured Tamika Catchings and Natalie Williams through December, is matched against Fenerbahce and Tan White.
In Australia, three weeks remain in the WNBL regular season. The Canberra Capitals, led by Tully Bevilaqua at point guard, are currently 12-4 and in second place.
Tamika Catchings and Ebony Hoffman are scheduled to appear in an upcoming episode of ESPN Teammates. The show will air this spring or summer.