August 24 --Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings has started in all five games for the undefeated Americans, averaging 7.8 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game in 23 minutes per game. Catchings has been the runner-up for the WNBA MVP award each of the past two seasons, and she has been just as impressive so far in 2004. She is currently in the top ten of 22 WNBA statistical categories and her Fever are just two games out of first place.

Tamika Catchings and the U.S. Olympic Team are just three wins away from winning the gold medal. Just how excited is she? Tamika chatted live from Athens on the eve of the United States' quarterfinal match against Greece on Tuesday.


Talisa CALI: hey Tamika, I wanted to know if and when you bring home the GOLD where will you put it?in your kitchen?lol. God Bless&Good Luck!

Tamika Catchings: Not in my kitchen. I have a trophy case upstairs and the gold medal would look great right next to my world championship medal.


Gala (Columbus, OH): Hi Tamika, congrats on a great showing at the Olympics. I saw you on television the other day squashing grapes. What other unusual experiences have you had in Athens or any other foreign country?

Tamika Catchings: Ha-ha. That was probably the most unusual thing I did. I've done touristy things like visiting the Plakka and the Acropolis with my family and teammates. It's been great.


Amber (Indy): I've read that you all past time by playing cards. What can you play and who wins mostly.

Tamika Catchings: My teammates like to play cards, sometimes spades, but I don't play much, I'm very tight with my money, you could say.


Ashleigh, Cass Lake, MN: Hey Tamika!! Congratulations on the success of the USA basketball team first of all. The question I have is how big of a loss is Katie Smith with her knee injury? Thanks alot..good luck in Athens!

Tamika Catchings: Losing Katie is tough. She has great experience and is a terrific shooter. But other players are stepping up. We'll miss her shooting in the crucial games of the medal round, but I'm confident the players we have on the floor can step up and knock down shots.


Yolanda (Carrollton, GA): Hey Tamika, I am a big fan of yours and I know that you are a family oriented person. My question for you is are there any people at home that you wish you could've brought with you to Athens that weren't able to come?

Tamika Catchings: Oh definitely. My Mom and sister were the only two who could come. I wish my Dad, my stepmom and my little brother could come. Also my older brother and his family. And my boyfriend. I can't forget him!


Amy (Chicago): Hey Tamika, How do you like staying on the Queen Mary 2? Do you wish that you could have stayed at the Village instead, where you could interact more with athletes from all over? Thanks, good luck!

Tamika Catchings: I'm enjoying staying on the Queen Mary 2. It's great. I wish we could do both, the Queen Mary and the Olympic Village, but it's all good. As long as I have a place to stay...


Megan Dover: How are the referees in The Olympics different than the WNBA refs?

Tamika Catchings: The biggest difference is the language barrier. They can't understand us sometimes, and we can't understand them much either. That's the biggest difference.


Zara (Columbia, MD): Hey Tamika! You guys are doing really well over there. It's worth getting up early in the morning. What are your thoughts on the game against Greece? It's going to be a huge, tough crowd :) Good luck with you and everyone else. Go USA!!!

Tamika Catchings: Thanks for watching. It's gonna be a tough game tomorrow. Anytime you play a host country, it will be tough. They will play out of their minds, and we will have to be prepared for them.


Margaret(Albuquerque): Hi Tamika!!! Congratulations on making the team. What are the best things about being an Olympian?

Tamika Catchings: I'd say the coolest thing right now is all of the attention you get for being an Olympian and the pride and memories you get by representing your country. If we can go out and win the gold medal for our country, that would be something nobody can ever take away from us.


Lois...Camden NY: Have you tried any Greek food or are you just sticking to pizza etc?

Tamika Catchings: Ha-ha. I'm a very picky eater. Right now I'm eating Pizza Hut and Dunkin' Donuts. I have tried some Greek food, don't ask me what it's called, but it's good. I've enjoyed it.


Stacie, Indiana: Your defense has been amazing in the prelims, do you plan to shoot a little more in the medal rounds? Also, how do you think it has affected the Fever practices with you being in Athens? I'm waiting to see that gold medal at the catchin24.com after party!!!!!!!!!

Tamika Catchings: Indiana, Yeah! As far as the medal round goes, I will continue what I've been doing, which is a defensive stopper and rebounder. As far as the Fever go, I am confident they are staying ready for us to come back and get right back on the winning track for the rest of the WNBA season when I get back.


Freda (Indianapolis): Hi Tamika, you all are doing great. Keep up the good work. What do you think you will bring back from Athens to the Fever that may help the team?

Tamika Catchings: Woo-hoo, Indianapolis! Winning a gold medal is something to bring back, it's really a great accomplishment and going through that process should help me grow as a player. Things like commitment and leadership are needed to win a gold medal, and I hope I can bring that back with me to the Fever.


Jenn, Minneapolis: I am so impressed with your game and appreciate your good choices off the court. Can you believe that this is actually your job?! Have you had any funny or embarrassing moments in Athens?

Tamika Catchings: Not really. The funniest thing about me is probably when I was trying to dance. My teammates got a big kick out of that.

Tamika Catchings: Thank you to everybody for supporting us. I hope to help us win a gold medal and I hope everyone at Indiana will be at our game on Sept. 4 against Washington. You can also check out www.catchin24.com. I've been doing some journals there. Check it out! Thanks again.