On Saturday, Lady Vol legend Tamika Catchings was announced as one of the nine members to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020.
“So many words go through my mind just about how grateful and excited I am,” Catchings said in an interview with Indiana Pacers’ radio host Pat Boylan.
Catchings will be the second Lady Vol representative to receive this honor. Former Lady Vols head coach, the late Pat Summitt, was the first person associated with the program to be welcomed into the hall.
The former Lady Vol played at Tennessee from 1997-2001. She earned WBCA All-America accolades in all four years of her career, which has only been accomplished one other time in program history. Catchings also recieved All-SEC four times, and was named a first-team honoree on three separate occasions.
Catchings other accolades include being a two-time All-Final Four recipient, being named the 2001 ESPY Awards Women’s Basketball Player of the Year, and being named the Associated Press, WBCA, Naismith and U.S. Basketball Writers of America Player of the Year in 2000, while also being called the 1998 U.S. Basketball Writers of America and SEC Freshman of the Year.
In conference, she became a three-time SEC All-Tournament Team member, and a two-time NCAA All-Regional Tournament honoree. She also was recognized as a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, twice.
In 1998, Catchings was a big reason for the Lady Vols going 39-0 and winning the NCAA title. Tennessee captured four SEC regular season championships and three tournament crowns between 1997-2001, with Catchings playing a major role in all of them.
In program history, Catchings is fourth in all-time scoring with 2,113 points and sixth with 1,004 career rebounds. She is only one of two players to reach the 2,000 point and 1,000 rebound mark in Tennessee history. She is third in steals with 311, her 760 career field goals and 471 free throws are both good for fourth and she sits at eighth in blocked shots with 136.
In her WNBA career, Catchings played 15 seasons with the Indiana Fever. In 2011, she received the WNBA MVP. A season later, Catchings helped to lead the Fever to the 2012 WNBA Championship, and also received the Finals MVP. She was a 10-time WNBA All-Star, a 12-time All-WNBA Team selection, a five-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, and the 2002 WNBA Rookie of the Year.
Catchings also saw great success while playing for Team USA. She won four consecutive gold medals between 2002-2016, which tied American women for the most golds ever won in women’s basketball. That mark also set records for most Olympics participated in and most golds won by a Lady Vol.
Recently, Catchings was announced as a member of the 2020 induction class for the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville. She is also serving as the Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager for the Indiana Fever.