A four-time Olympic gold medalist and 16-year WNBA superstar with the Indiana Fever, Tamika Catchings has been named Director of Player Programs and Franchise Development with Pacers Sports & Entertainment. Catchings’ position will include participation with all three PS&E basketball franchises – the Indiana Pacers, the Indiana Fever and the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
Catchings’ presence adds enhanced value to career and community programming which already exists with the Pacers, and her addition will help install new programs with the Fever and Mad Ants. She will serve as a bridge while helping maintain program continuity for all three franchises.
Catchings will aid with structure and implementation of player development programs, player relations and community outreach. Programs for the Fever and Mad Ants will be designed to build chemistry and continuity among players, assist each franchise in recruiting free agents, and help with leadership development and professional skills for all players. As an additional resource for all teams, the newly created position expands Pacers Sports & Entertainment’s ability to educate and prepare players for their post-playing careers.
She will assist with community outreach programs for all three franchises, and will work one-on-one with individual players on speaking and presentation skills, and the development of athlete foundations or other business interests. A longtime president of the WNBA player’s association, Catchings also will assist in the planning and execution of league, NBAPA and WNBAPA meetings, and other team and player programming.
Widely regarded for her own community work and professional leadership as a player, Catchings is uniquely qualified for her new position. She joined the Indiana franchise in 2001 when she was the club’s first-round draft selection – just one year after the Fever was established. As a face of the Fever franchise through 16 seasons, she has been a constant ambassador and respected representative of the NBA, WNBA and Pacers Sports & Entertainment throughout her career.
“Adding Tamika to our front office staff is a natural fit,” said Kelly Krauskopf, Fever President and General Manager. “As an organization, we are committed to the growth and development of our players. There is no one better who can have the kind of impact on our individual players like Tamika. I am thrilled beyond words to have her on staff.”
More than a basketball player, Catchings has routinely earned distinction as one of the nation’s finest citizen-athletes with committed community engagement throughout the country and even internationally. In 2015, she was inaugural winner of the ESPN Sports Humanitarian of the Year. Last summer, she became the first two-time recipient of the WNBA’s Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award and the first three-time winner of the WNBA’s Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award. Last November, she was honored in consecutive weeks with the Pathfinder Award by the Indiana Sports Corporation, honoring those who improve the lives of America’s youth; and the Musial Award by the St. Louis Sports Commission, for extraordinary sportsmanship.
The 37-year old Catchings matched an Olympic basketball record for men or women while earning her fourth Olympic gold medal last summer. The 12-time All-WNBA recipient and 10-time WNBA All-Star helped lead the Fever to a league-record 12 consecutive playoff appearances, 13 overall. The 2011 league MVP and 2012 Finals MVP, she is the leading rebounder in WNBA history, and its No. 2 all-time scorer. She was named the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year an unprecedented five times.