Tamika Catchings a finalist for Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

Tamika Catchings / Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee women’s basketball legend Tamika Catchings was announced Friday evening as one of eight finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The list was revealed at the NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago.

This year’s list includes four first-time finalists: 18-time NBA All-Star and five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant, 15-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA Finals MVP Tim Duncan, 15-time NBA All-Star and nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection Kevin Garnett, and 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings.

Previous finalists included again this year for consideration are three-time NCAA National Championship Coach of Baylor Kim Mulkey, five-time Division II National Coach of the Year Barbara Stevens, four-time National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton and two-time NBA Champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich.

“When the nominees for the Class of 2020 were announced in December, we knew this class had the potential of being one of the most historic of all time,” said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “The untimely passing of Kobe Bryant has left us in a state of reflective mourning and we’re proud to honor his legacy while also recognizing seven other individuals who have meant so much to our game. We congratulate our finalists and those who have supported them on their journeys, and we look forward to revealing the Class of 2020 at the Final Four in Atlanta.”

The Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Announcement will take place on April 4 at 11 a.m. EST on ESPN from the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta, Georgia. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2020 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Birthplace of Basketball, Aug. 28-30, 2020. VIP Tickets Packages for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2020 and enshrinement events are on sale at www.hoophall.com. Single event tickets will be available Saturday, April 4, subject to availability.

Catchings, who played for the Lady Vols from 1997-2001, is one of only two UT players to earn WBCA All-America accolades all four years of her career and was a four-time All-SEC recipient, including three times as a first-team honoree.

The 6-1 forward from Duncanville, Texas, was a two-time All-Final Four recipient; the 2001 ESPY Awards Women’s Basketball Player of the Year; the 2000 Associated Press, WBCA, Naismith and U.S. Basketball Writers of America Player of the Year and the 1998 U.S. Basketball Writers of America and SEC Freshman of the Year. Catchings also was a three-time SEC All-Tournament Team member, and two-time NCAA All-Regional Tournament honoree and two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.

Catchings played a key role as Tennessee went 39-0 and won an NCAA title in 1998 and also helped the Lady Vols place second in 2000. Additionally, she was instrumental in the Big Orange winning four SEC regular season championships and three tournament crowns.

In Lady Vol history, Catchings remains fourth in all-time scoring with 2,113 points and is sixth with 1,004 career rebounds. She is one of only two UT players to record 2,000 points and 1,000 caroms. Catchings continues to rank third in steals (311), fourth in career field goals (760) and free throws (471), and eighth in blocked shots (136). She also is tied for most games played in a season with 39.

Catchings played 15 seasons with the Indiana Fever, was named the 2011 WNBA MVP and led that franchise to the 2012 WNBA Championship, earning Finals MVP honors. Catchings was a 10-time WNBA All-Star, a 12-time All-WNBA Team selection, a five-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year and the 2002 WNBA Rookie of the Year. She holds the league’s all-time steals career mark and now is employed by Indiana as vice president/Fever basketball operations.

Catchings also won four consecutive Olympic gold medals with Team USA from 2002-2016, setting records for most Olympics participated in and most golds won by a Lady Vol.

-UT Athletics

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