Catchings’ Grandmother Watches In Person For First Time

June 15, 2008 | by Ericka Sanders

Frank McGrath / PS&E Photo
It’s never been truer that Grandma is the strength that keeps the family together.

Charming, with a bright smile, Tamika Catchings’ grandmother Delphia Scott watched her granddaughter in person for the first time in her basketball career.

Needless to say, Catchings was ecstatic, despite the Indiana Fever’s 70-60 loss to the San Antonio Silver Stars for the second time in a week and her grandmother’s doubts of making the trip from Texas to Indiana.

“I had to call her and tell her how excited I was for her to come,” said Catchings. “For her to be here to think I’m 28-years-old and this is the first time she’s seen me play in person is very cool.”

It was 23 years ago that Delphia’s husband, John suffered a stroke and was unable to care for himself. Honoring the vows that the two said in front of God and family when they said, “I do,” Delphia’s life became caring for her husband.

In 1992, John was diagnosed with prostate cancer and in 2005 was told he had colon cancer. He died in January. However, Delphia never left her husband’s side, which Catchings says taught her and her family how important it is to stick together.

“That is one thing I know for sure, family has to stick together,” Catchings said. “Every game that was on TV my grandfather made sure they turned it on. The support has always been there from my grandparents. As a family we’re very tight and I wouldn’t trade it in for the world.”

While Catchings was winning championships in high school and college, being honored by the WNBA for outstanding play, Delphia was doing her best to keep her husband’s spirits up.

“It was about being there for my husband, being encouraging and trying to get him to eat when he didn’t feel like eating,” she says. “We were married 55 years and it was very difficult. Even though taking care of him became a way of life, it was not a bad life. I enjoyed it and I really miss him.”

Although John has passed, mentioning his name and sports brings a huge grin to Delphia’s face.

“Oh, he loved basketball,” she says laughing. “He would have loved to be here today. Watching his granddaughter and Tiger Woods play on the same day would have excited him so much.”

It also excited Delphia to see how much the city of Indianapolis loves Catchings and watching her granddaughter from an injury that had her sidelined since September.

“I didn’t know that the city had embraced her so well. It makes me feel great,” she said. “I’m really happy for her; she’s truly a blessing to all of us.”