Tamika Catchings joins legends in Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

Posted at 5:44 PM, May 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-16 19:25:31-04

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. — Tamika Catchings received a huge honor Saturday: she is one of the newest members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Catchings is one of nine members of the 2020 class that also includes NBA legends Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, coaches Eddie Sutton, Rudy Tomjanovich, Kim Mulkey and Barbara Stevens, and FIBA executive Patrick Baumann.

The group got their long-awaited induction more than a year after they were announced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dan Staley, Tamika Catchings
Presenter Dawn Staley, left, applauds as Tamika Catchings speaks as Catchings is enshrined as part of the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame class, Saturday, May 15, 2021, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Catchings was a 10-time WNBA All-Star, a five-time defensive player of the year and the WNBA's all-time steals leader. She also won four Olympic gold medals with Team USA.

During her acceptance speech, Catchings shared how she came to love the sport.

"Basketball chose me — an awkward, lanky, introverted tomboy, born with a hearing disability, a speech impediment and a will to overcome obstacles, dream big and to change the world," she said.

Catchings has been involved in the Indianapolis community since she retired from basketball. She now serves as the Indiana Fever's general managers and owns and operates Teas Me Cafe.

Since 2004, through her Catch the Stars foundation, Catchings has mentored kids ages 7-18 through fitness, literacy and youth development programs.