One of the last three players named to the 2008 U.S. Olympic women's basketball team, Tamika Catchings makes her second straight Olympic appearance in Beijing. The first nine team members were announced May 31, but Catchings was not among them because she was injured at the time. However, by July 10, when the final three were announced, Catchings had shown enough recovery from tearing her right Achilles' tendon in September 2007. She returned to her WNBA team, the Indiana Fever, on June 15. At the 2004 Athens Games, where the U.S. won its third straight gold medal, Catchings started all eight games and averaged 6.9 points and 5.4 rebounds to go with 22 steals.
Catchings' injury prevented her from playing in the 2007 FIBA Americas tournament, which the U.S. won and thus qualified for the 2008 Beijing Games. Team USA would not have had to play in the qualifying tournament had it won the 2006 World Championships, but it lost in the semifinals and took bronze; it was the first time since 1994 that the U.S. women did not win the world title. Catchings started all nine games for the 2006 Worlds team, averaging 7.0 points and team-highs of 6.9 rebounds and 2.0 steals in just over 21 minutes a game. In 2002, she became the first American to win gold at both junior and senior world championships. Catchings played on the U.S. junior team that won the 1997 world title as well as the 2002 senior world championship squad.
In December 2003, Catchings became the fifth women's basketball player to have her number (24) retired at the University of Tennessee, one of the nation's premier programs. A four-time All-American, Catchings was named national player of the year by several outlets as a junior in 2000, and would have competed for those honors again as a senior if not for a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament that cut short her final season. During her four seasons the Lady Vols went 134-10, won four Southeastern Conference tournament and regular season titles and went to two Final Fours. In her first season, 1997-98, she helped Tennessee go 39-0 and win the NCAA title while setting a school freshman scoring record with 711 points (18.2 ppg).
The transition from college to professional ball was seamless for Catchings -- once she got on the court. After sitting out the 2001 WNBA season with two knee injuries, Catchings debuted with a splash for the Indiana Fever in 2002, winning the Rookie of the Year award, making the All-WNBA first team and finishing second in the voting for Defensive Player of the Year. She averaged 18.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, while leading the league with 2.9 steals. The WNBA's Defensive Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006, Catchings has finished among the top three in balloting for the WNBA MVP Award in four of her six active pro seasons. She is a five-time WNBA All-Star and six-time All-WNBA recipient.
Catchings was born with a hearing deficiency in both ears. As a child, she said her classmates teased her because she had hearing aids, glasses, and braces, and spoke with a speech impediment. Upset by the teasing, she discarded the hearing aids and got by mostly by reading lips. Catchings didn't regularly wear hearing aids again until her freshman year at Tennessee, when head coach Pat Summitt noticed that she wasn't doing everything she was told. So Catchings wore them through her sophomore year, but doesn't wear hearing aids on the court anymore. She does put them in for public speaking engagements to help her pronunciation, and has become one of the country's leading spokespersons for overcoming hearing impairment.
The daughter of 11-year NBA veteran Harvey Catchings, Tamika isn't the only child in her family with basketball skill. Her sister Tauja, a year older than Tamika, was an All-Big 10 forward at Illinois and was drafted in the third round of the 2000 WNBA Draft by the Phoenix Mercury. Tauja now heads up the charitable foundation she created with Tamika, Catch the Stars.
All American Speakers is a speakers bureau and booking agency providing information on booking Tamika Catchings for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Tamika Catchings speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next event.
Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau acts only as an entertainment broker/producer for corporate functions, private engagements and special events. All American Speakers Bureau does not claim or represent itself as the exclusive agent or management of Tamika Catchings or any artist on this website. Speaker fees are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Fees often vary based on a number of factors including: speakers schedule, supply and demand, length of presentation, location of event and other factors. Fee Ranges listed on this website are intended to serve only as a guideline. In some cases, the actual price quote may be above or below the stated range.
All American Speakers Bureau is a celebrity booking agency and talent buyer which supplies celebrity talent worldwide. We secure speakers and celebrities for speaking engagements, advertising campaigns, personal appearances, commercials, licensing, voice-overs, product endorsements, spokesperson campaigns, publicity events, corporate entertainment, trade shows, and media tours.
Related Tags: Information on keynote speaking engagements, personal appearances, corporate entertainment and appearance fees for Tamika Catchings, an inspirational motivational speaker. bio for Tamika Catchings agency, manager, speaker fees, speaking agency entertainment booking agency, speaker's fee, how to book, booking agencies for lectures, speaking event, celebrity appearances for hire, who is agent, manager, publicist, who represents, speakers bureau management who represents Tamika Catchings