SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The basketball portion of the Sanford Legends for kids was held at the Sanford Pentagon with one of the games greats in attendance, Hall of Famer Tamika Catchings.
Tamika Catchings was destined for the hardwood. Her Father Harvey Catchings played 11 seasons in the NBA, but surprisingly enough, basketball was not where her athletic career began
“Going back to the beginning for me really soccer was my first sport, softball was my second sport and I started playing basketball in rec league in third grade. My dad was my first coach. My sister and I were on an all boys team and there weren’t many teams for girls to be able to play,” Catching’s said.
By 7th grade her objective had become clear.
“Every Sunday night my dad would take my brother, sister and I, he would work with us for about 30, 45 minutes then the older guys would come and we would play games with the older guys or we would just sit there and watch or roam around the school and all that. But I think for me it was really like man this is something, I want to be in the NBA, I want to follow my dad’s footsteps and have that opportunity,” Catchings remembered.
With the WNBA coming into existence in 1996, Catchings would have a chance at achieving that dream. After 4 years at Tennessee Catchings would be selected 3rd in the 2001 WNBA Draft. She would go onto become a 10-time all star, the 2011 WNBA MVP and was named the 2012 Finals MVP after leading the Indiana Fever to a Title.
“I always talk about it, just dreaming big, especially with this age, you know. Dreaming big, believing in yourself, being inspired. A lot of them are inspired, there’s somebody that has given them the opportunity to be here, they’re inspired by a player whether its NBA, WNBA, brother, sister, somebody in their family and then just be great. We have control over how hard we work, we have control over our worth ethic we have control over our mind,” Catchings said.
Catchings was inducted into the basketball hall of fame in May of 2021