Tamika Catchings, one of the most highly decorated Lady Vols in University of Tennessee, Knoxville, history and WNBA basketball legend, will speak at the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences (CEHHS) commencement ceremony on Friday, May 20th at Thompson-Boling Arena. Catchings is a CEHHS alum, with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sports management. Her academic accolades include the university’s prestigious Torchbearer Award
During her time with the Lady Vols, Catchings led the team to a 134-10 record as well as four SEC regular-season championships. She played 127 games for the Lady Vols, scored 2,113 points, and was named a four-time All-American player. In addition, she was selected as an Academic All-SEC honoree, an ESPY Award winner and named College Women’s Basketball Player of the Year, all in 2001.
Catchings is one of the top-fifteen players in WNBA history. She is also a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, 10-time WNBA All-Star, five-time Defensive Player of the Year, and a WNBA Champion. In 2020, she was also inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
While Catchings is well-known for her success on the basketball court, she is also a driving force behind numerous philanthropy efforts. Catchings credits legendary Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt with giving her the life lessons to be a positive influence both on and off the court.
It was while Catchings was pursuing her master’s degree at CEHHS that she came up with an idea to focus on a way to help under served children by focusing on literacy, fitness, and youth development. The result was the Catch the Stars Foundation, which has benefited over 15,000 youth since its inception in 2004. She is also very active with numerous philanthropic efforts in the Indianapolis, Indiana community, serving on multiple boards. Catchings also created the Amplification Fund for the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center Audiology Department, which supports young adults whose insurance no longer covers the cost of hearing amplifiers.
Catchings can currently be seen on the ESPN/SEC networks, where she serves as a Color Analyst, providing statistics, strategy, and background information, covering women’s basketball.