WNBA MVP TAMIKA CATCHINGS TO RETURN TO INDIANA FEVER
INDIANAPOLIS – The reigning MVP of the WNBA, two-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings has signed a free agent contract to remain with the only WNBA team for which she has ever played. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.
Catchings has completed 10 active seasons with the Fever and 11 years of service since being chosen with the club’s top pick in the 2001 WNBA Draft. After missing her first season due to injury, she was named the league’s Rookie of the Year in 2002 and has established virtually every season and career record in Fever history. Including her MVP campaign in 2011, she has been among top-five finishers in MVP balloting nine times. A four-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year and a seven-time All-Star, she also owns the league record for career steals.
“It's no secret that Tamika has been the cornerstone of our franchise. Her contribution to our team and this community is significant,” said Fever Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Kelly Krauskopf. “Re-signing her was a priority and my hope is that she plays out the remainder of her career in a Fever uniform.”
"Tamika is the most versatile player in the WNBA!,” exclaimed Fever Head Coach Lin Dunn. “Her ability to perform at such a high level on both ends of the floor has been a key to our seven straight playoff appearances. She has been the face of our franchise for 10 years and we are fortunate to have her in Indiana."
Considered as one of the most elite players in the world, she has helped guide the Fever to playoff appearances in seven consecutive seasons and eight overall, including a trip to the 2009 WNBA Finals. She is the only player in WNBA history to rank among the league’s career top ten in points (6th), rebounds (6th), assists (9th) and steals (1st). She boasts career averages of 16.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.5 steals per game.
Catchings is regarded almost as highly, too, for her work off the court. An ambassador for the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee and the founder of the Catch The Stars Foundation, she will appear Thursday with First Lady Michelle Obama in a “Let’s Move!” event in Des Moines, Iowa, to help solve the problem of childhood obesity.
Added Catchings, “I’d like to thank Jim Morris, Kelly Krauskopf and Pacers Sports & Entertainment for helping me to continue my career in Indianapolis. I look forward to representing this franchise and growing my Catch The Stars Foundation in this community. We’ve had a great 11 seasons so far and we’ll continue our pursuit of a championship for the Fever.”