Fever Ready For Olympic Break

July 24, 2008 | by Ericka Sanders
Tamika Catchings will be in Beijing, so will Tully Bevilaqua.

This will be Catchings’ second trip to the Olympics, Bevilaqua’s first.

“When you look at our team, there are so many people that can score, so to add another person who can just score is unnecessary at this juncture,” Catchings said. “I think they (the committee) were looking for someone with more of a defensive mentality and that was my role in 2004. They put me on the women who needed to be stopped, and I did that.”

Bevilaqua, who turned 36 on July 19, was on the Australian team that won gold in the FIBA World Championships in 2006 but the Olympics is different – and she’s excited. The guard is currently in Australia practicing with her team that includes Seattle Storm star Lauren Jackson.

“It’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster,” said Bevilaqua who was unsure if she would make the squad. “Just waiting for the announcement and hearing the announcement.”

For the rest of the Indiana Fever, the month off will allow them to focus on two important necessities: rest and practice.

“To be able to practice without interruption will be good for us,” said Head Coach Lin Dunn.

Adds center Tammy Sutton-Brown, “(The break) will be good for a lot of us to get some rest. We have seven mandatory days off and then we’ll be back on the court.”

For players like Sutton-Brown, Katie Douglas, Ebony Hoffman and others, they have yet to take an extended break as many of them arrived in Indianapolis the day before or the day of the Fever’s first regular game due to basketball commitments overseas.

“It’ll be nice to sit and breathe for a second,” Hoffman said.

However, hovering around .500 and fourth in the Eastern Conference in a year many were talking championship, Indiana has a lot of work to do. They have two games, a back-to-back against Sacramento and Phoenix before the month off.

“We’re trying to pick it up. We win one and lose one but we need to get focused and get on a winning streak,” said Sutton-Brown. “After the seven days we’ll be working out together so that will help us a lot.”

Indiana will resume the season at home against Connecticut on August 28.

Hopefully two Fever players will be bringing back Olympic medals.