Born with a hearing problem—in addition to having speech issues and wearing glasses and braces—Olympic Gold Medalist and WNBA All-Star Tamika Catchings was made fun of for most of her childhood. That is, until she realized she had a knack for playing sports.
“No matter what sport it was, no one could make fun of me,” says Catchings, who eventually decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a professional basketball player. She dedicated her life to achieving that dream.
Over time, however, Catchings says basketball “became my god.” It wasn’t until she damaged her ACL during a college game that she realized it was time to recommit herself to Christ. Only then did she begin living her dream.
A four-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, Catchings plays for the Indiana Fever and has been highly successful over the years both on and off the court. While she has a passion for basketball, she also enjoys helping youth to establish goals for their own lives.
In 2004 Catchings started the Catch the Stars Foundation, which provides academic and sports-related programs for underprivileged youth in Indianapolis. About 1,500 youth, ages 9 to 16, have been affected by her organization. “Everything is achievable by goals,” says Catchings, who believes she can help students follow their dreams.
Catch the Stars is “focused around the goal-setting principle,” she says. Catchings would like to expand her organization, but in the meantime, she’ll continue being a role model. “For me, it’s about being a witness for Him.”