Playing Off of Faith With Tamika Catchings
Beliefnet interviews Olympic athlete and WNBA star Tamika Catchings about playing for her country and how she practices her beliefs.
Describe your Olympic experience.
Catchings: It is one of the most exciting things. It’s almost one of those things that even when you talk about it, you can’t fully describe the feeling—just being able to be considered one of the best in your nation. And when you look at the Olympics, it goes across all fields in life—sports, politics, diversity. It’s everything combined into one. And when you’re there, everybody is watching you. What they see is how they think every American acts. I take a lot of responsibility for that. This might be the only time some of these players and these people from different countries ever come into contact with an American. You are that person that they are going to go back and talk about. It’s cool to meet a lot of new people. But there are also a lot of foreigners that come to the WNBA and play so it allows us to develop those friendships as well.
How did it feel to be named one of the top 15 players in WNBA history?
I can’t really think about it because I’m still here and I’m still out here loving it and enjoying every moment. I’m able to connect on the court. I’m able to connect with the fans off the court. I’m able to do all the things we do in the community. I’m still going through it. One day when I look back and I have kids and a husband and we’re sitting around just talking about life, I can tell them what I used to do. I’ll be like, “Man, I’ve been blessed.” I’ve been extremely blessed to have all these opportunities.
What are some of the things you’re doing to reach young people within the Indianapolis community and beyond?
I started the Catch The Stars Foundation in 2004. I wanted to make an impact on kids. I think about all the people that have come across my path from the time I was little girl to where I’m at today. There were so many people that wanted to help me. And some people didn’t even know. They were just a positive influence and encouragement in a time when I needed it. I want to help these kids catch their stars one dream at a time. That’s our mission right there.