This individual, through his/her involvement in sports, has inspired, moved, or challenged the sports performance industry in a unique and personal way on their journey to heal their body, mind, and spirit.
St.Vincent Sports Performance is proud to name Tamika Catchings the recipient of the 2013 Trinity Dove Award.
Tamika was a Kodak All-America honoree for four consecutive seasons at the University of Tennessee. She then went on to be drafted by the Indiana Fever in the first round of the 2001 WNBA Draft, going third overall. Since then, Tamika has not disappointed.
In her first season with the Fever, she won the 2002 WNBA Rookie of the Year award, and that was just the beginning. Since then, Tamika has been on the WNBA All-Star Team seven times, has received All-WNBA honors 10 times, has been named the WNBA's Defensive Player of the Year five times, and in 2010, she was awarded the WNBA's Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award. Additionally, in 2011, she was named the league's MVP.
In 2012, the Indiana Fever brought home their first WNBA title in the organization's history. Tamika was a big part of the Fever's success in 2012, and was named the WNBA Finals MVP. She led the team in scoring with 17.4 points per contest, led the team in steals with 2.06 per game and served as the team's leading rebounder, grabbing 7.60 boards per contest.
Outside of her work with the Indiana Fever, she has also been a key contributor on several USA Women's Basketball Olympic Teams. In her time with Team USA, she helped bring home three consecutive gold medals from the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. While a member of Team USA she played in every game for the past three Olympics and was a tri-captain for the 2012 games.
While her numerous on-court awards and accomplishments are impressive, her work off the court is just as profound. Tamika has been named a three-time WNBA Community Assist Award winner for her involvement in the community, and became the first recipient of the Dawn Staley Leadership Award for being a positive role model and bettering the community. Tamika's contributions to society also earned her the honor of being a finalist for the Coach John Wooden Citizenship Cup Award.
During the off-season, it's common to see Tamika fulfilling her promises to young fans that she'll cheer them on. She spends countless hours teaching and motivating youth. Following the success of her own camps and clinics, she created the "Catch the Stars Foundation" in the spring of 2004. The foundation's goal is to provide academic and sports related programs for at-risk youth.
Through all of her work and accomplishments, Tamika has had to work through a significant personal obstacle – deafness. As a child wearing external hearing aids, she was bullied for her differences and struggled internally with fitting in. As a teenager, she stopped wearing her hearing aids, tired of being "different." But under the guidance of her college coach, Pat Summitt, Tamika learned to accept her differences and excel despite them. She now wears internal hearing aids and enjoys teaching youth about self-confidence and valuing each other's gifts.
Tamika fully embodies what the Trinity Dove Award is all about, through her work on the court and in the community, as she continues to make a difference.