Tamika Catchings was building a sandcastle when her father, former NBA player Harvey Catchings, continued calling her name.
“Tamika … Tamika …”
But Tamika Catchings, who was three years old at the time, couldn’t hear her father’s calls. She would later be diagnosed with a moderate to severe hearing problem.
And that’s just the first page of Catchings’ new book “Catching a Star: Shining through Adversity to Become a Champion.”
“Beginning six or seven years ago, I did a lot of public speaking, and people started approaching me, asking me, ‘Do you have a book, a CD, a DVD? Anything that we can go and pass on?’ and I was like, ‘No. Nobody does that, right,’” Catchings said. “So really, about three years ago, we kinda focused in and thought that it’d be cool to have a book or something about my life and being able to help people.”
In fact, Catchings’ foundation, Catch The Stars, is founded on the principle of “being able to help people.” The program, which has been going strong for 12 years, helps youngsters set and accomplish their goals for the future through programs that “promote fitness, literacy and youth development.”
“As we started thinking about the book, we kind of transitioned to that,” Catchings said. “I said that we couldn’t just leave it at ‘Catching a Star.’ It’s too close to ‘Catch the Stars.’ So we came up with the ‘Shining through Adversity to Become a Champion’ part of it pretty quickly, but it all ties in to me and my story.”
Catchings’ story continues by describing her elementary days and the bullying that ensued once Catchings began wearing a special hearing aid to help combat the hearing problem.
Later, a divorce between her parents added another obstacle that Catchings had to overcome.
The book progresses through the tough times of Catchings’ life and the reader gets to watch things fall perfectly into place. As part two “Noise” begins to come to an end with Catchings’ career beginning at Tennessee, the dominance that the Lady Vols and Catchings had begins the third section — “Music.”
The rest of the story talks about the friends and fans that Catchings’ has gathered over her illustrious WNBA career. The 2016-17 season will be Catchings’ final year in the league. She’ll be leaving a legacy behind, just like her childhood friend Kobe Bryant.
“We started off as little kids in Italy and not knowing the direction of following our fathers’ footsteps,” Catchings said. “To be going into the final year, with everything that we both have accomplished over the years, it’s just been awesome. His legacy that he’s about to leave and going out and doing whatever he does, he’ll forever be remembered.”
Catchings’ 254-page story of beating adversity can be found in bookstores and on Amazon’s Kindle eBook store.
“We spent a lot of time writing this book, but I’m happy with the success we’ve had and just being able to share my story,” Catchings said. “I know my story is inspirational, and I want to be able to share it with others.”