Chat Transcript: Tamika Catchings
Off the court, she is one of the league's most civic and community-oriented players, evidenced by the formation of the Catch The Stars Foundation in December 2004. Catchings will play overseas in Korea, beginning in January, buy not before devoting time to her Foundation's activities in October, November and December.
On Oct. 10, Catchings opened the Catch The Stars Reading Corner, at Christel House Academy in Indianapolis. It is hoped to be the first of many such reading corners sponsored by her Foundation -- in Indianapolis and across the United States. Her fascination and love of reading has fostered the latest component to her Foundation's efforts which already include fitness clinics and basketball camps; a mentoring program for young girls; and a scholar-athlete awards program for area high schools that includes college scholarship contributions to top male and female scholar-athletes.
On deck for the four-time WNBA All-Star and Olympic gold medalist is her annual Catch on to Fitness clinic, Nov. 11 in Indianapolis. The cost for participating? A contribution of 10 canned food items! Boys and girls ages 7-14 may participate. Visit Catchin24.com for further information.
Tamika stopped by FeverBasketball.com on Tuesday to chat live with fans. Check out what she had to say about playing overseas, next year's team and much more!
joi,detroit: hi,tamika! are you enjoying your off-season? if so,what are you doing?
Tamika Catchings: Ha. Yes I am enjoying my offseason. It started with the World Championships and since then I've been trying to slow down a little bit and work with the Catch The Stars Foundation here in Indianapolis.
Sao Paulo, Brazil: How would you describe your experience at the World Championships in Brazil? What caught your attention while in the country?
Tamika Catchings: I think overall the experience was very good, we really enjoyed ourselves. We were there about 15 days and played about 12 of them..and the other three we had practice, so we didn't really get a chance to explore. But what I can say, is the Brazilian people are very nice and very friendly.
Lois: Are you looking forward to going to play in Korea in Janurary? Will you be playing for the same team? And how long will you be gone?
Tamika Catchings: I will be playing for Woori Bank, the same team in Korea again and I'm really looking forward to it. And it looks like I will be there from January until April.
Kristen (Marlborough): Tamika, What is your favorite part about playing overseas?
Tamika Catchings: My favorite part is getting to meet different people and the chance to explore different cultures. On my Korean team, we are very close-knit and my younger sister and some family will be joining me there and my team and the organization are very welcoming to us, which is terrific.
Alexis- Knoxville: I am a huge Lady Vol fan and i just wanted to know what do u think there chances are this year of going all the way although i know there going all the way.
Tamika Catchings: I do too! I will never root against Tennessee, no matter what I think, but I really think this year is that they can be in the hunt and win the NCAA Championship in the upcoming season. I hope to be able to catch a road game or two.
carla newbedford: Can u tell me the benifits you get out of helping out our youth of today. Your truley a blessed women keep up the good work
Tamika Catchings: Thank you so much for your nice words. The biggest benefit for me, is knowing that I'm making a difference. If I can help just one child, I know it was worth it. Of course, I hope to reach many more than one, and that is my goal.
Michael, Indianapolis: Tamika, I just came back from my polling place and noticed you weren't running for Congress or Senate... You're making more of a difference in the lives of Hoosiers with your Catch The STARS foundation than most of our state's paid politicians. Is there any chance of you getting into politics some day? Senator Catchings has a nice ring to it...
Tamika Catchings: Ha-ha. It does have a nice ring, doesn't it. I think I will leave that to Ebony Hoffman, she wants to do that one day. Howabout Senator Hoffman?
Roni Israel: heyy! you are a very physical player and play rough at all time.. what makes you go out there every single game and play as aggressive as you do?
Tamika Catchings: Hmmm. Probably just knowing that everytime I play, there may be someone in the arena who hasn't seen a woman's game, and I want to show them, "Damn that woman hustles on every single play!" Plus, I just love the game and it isn't hard for me, I enjoy going out and playing as hard as I possibly can.
Stacie (Storrs): Hi Tamika! I just wanted to say that you have had a large influence on me and I wanted to say Thank you! What has been your most challenging experience in basketball (at any level) and how did you overcome it? Have a safe & healthy offseason!
Tamika Catchings: Thank you. The biggest challenge for me, was the first practice as the University of Tennessee. I had never before had a coach tell me I ever did anything wrong. And going to Tennessee and playing for Pat, the first time she got down on me, for something on the defensive end of the floor, it was a big change for me and it hit me. I had never had that kind of feedback before and I appreciated it, and here I am a few years later I'm defensive player of the year, so I'm happy it happened. Also, another one, when I was younger in sixth grade, I wanted to play on a travel team, that my sister Tauja was on, and I got cut and it was devastating. But I just went on from there and comitted even more to improving and getting better after that.
Kevin (Brownsburg, Ind.): Tamika!!!!!!!! You rock! How often do you workout during the offseason when you are not playing?
Tamika Catchings: I took the whole month of October off, which is something I haven't done for about three years. Now, I'm working out five days a week and I take the weekend off. But it depends on how much I eat over the weekend, if I have too much fun on Saturday, I'll work out on Sunday.
Olivia: Are there any particular teams that you enjoy playing against?
Tamika Catchings: Particular teams? I honestly enjoy playing against them all, but there are some players I really enjoy playing against like Chamique, Tina Thompson, Sheryl Swoopes, Crystal Robinson and Alana Beard. Crystal always makes me work so hard on offense, she steps up her defense.
Megan (Dover): What do you think will be the one thing the Fever needs to go all the way this year? Go FeVeR!!▲
Tamika Catchings: That's a hard question. We need experience with one another. This will be my sixth year, and every year we have a new dynamic. Out of 12 players last year, eight of those players were new. So, if we can get that experience together, we can compete.
Tamika Catchings: I want to thank everyone who logged on today and asked questions. I'm sorry I couldn't get to them all. If you have more questions try me at Catchin24.com. Also keep tabs on us this offseason as the Fever are gonna come back and be the WNBA Champions in 2007.