Tamika Catchings joins Pacers front office
INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Tamika Catchings is headed back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
No, she's not coming out of retirement. She's joined the Pacers Sports & Entertainment front office as director of player programs and franchise development, which will include work with all three franchises - Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever and Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
She will help grow career and community programs for the Pacers and create new ones for the Fever and Mad Ants, according to a press release. Her work will include building chemistry and continuity among players and recruiting free agents, plus help players get ready for their life after they leave the court.
Catchings was the face of the Fever for 16 years from 2001 when she was the club's first-round draft pick just one year after the club was created, all the way through her retirement at the end of this season. She also drew praise for her work off the court as the inaugural winner of the ESPN Sports Humanitarian of the Year in 2015. She also became the first two-time recipient of the WNBA's Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award last summer 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.