INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Tamika Catchings became an adopted Hoosier in 2001, when she was announced as the third overall pick in the WNBA Draft, selected by the Indiana Fever.
But she was only a member of the team on paper, not on the court, as a torn ACL forced both her and the franchise to be patient.
That patience was rewarded a year later, as Catchings earned WNBA Rookie of the Year honors in 2002, averaging 18.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 2.9 steals per game. Similar stat lines followed year after year, culminating in the league’s MVP honor in 2011.
Catchings had accomplished much -- but without a ring. That changed the following season, as the Indiana Fever won their first, and only, WNBA title in 2012. Catchings was named WNBA Finals MVP, leading the Fever to a 3-1 win in a five-game series over the reigning champion Minnesota Lynx.
10 times a WNBA All-Star, the league's all-time leader in steals (by a wide margin), international success too with four gold medals, but those numbers tell only part of Catchings' story, as her achievements on the court are only matched by her contributions off it it, dedicating a significant amount of her time over her 19 years as a Hoosier to the local community.
Retirement from the game -- and her jersey retirement by the Fever followed, cementing Catchings' place in franchise history. Her place in basketball history is now secure as well, as a member of the 2020 class of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.