What a thrill to watch Tamika Catchings and the Indiana Fever win their first WNBA Championship! The announcers talked often about how respected Tamika is by other players and coaches in the league, and that certainly extends to her many fans.
There’s something in us that wants to see people like Tamika achieve their dreams. Though I didn’t watch many WNBA games this season, I watched the Finals to see if this was her year. And sure enough, I found myself screaming at the TV!
Being a champion is a characteristic. It’s not something determined by the scoreboard. Tamika was a champion even before she stepped on the court on Sunday because of how she lives. Here are a few qualities that makes her a champion in my book:
Faith: Tamika faith and identity are in God rather than her abilities on the court. This allows her to play with freedom, knowing that she is completely loved and accepted by Him no matter how she performs or what the scoreboard says. Her faith grounds her, giving her a steadiness through the ups and downs of the season. It also helps her see the bigger picture…that basketball is her livelihood and part of life, but it’s not life. Champions put their faith in something greater than themselves.
Humility: Tamika isn’t a self-promoter. She lets her game speak for her. You don’t see her making gestures after great plays to draw attention to herself. She just plays her heart out. In interviews, she quickly defers praise to her teammates. Champions get that it’s not about them, but the team.
Hard work: Tamika doesn’t take plays off. Even though the championship game was decided, she was out contesting Maya Moore’s final 3-point attempt as time expired. Her work ethic is contagious and takes the whole team to a higher level. Champions are the hardest workers and never give up.
Talks Team: Tamika is clearly the leader of the Fever, but quickly credits her teammates and instills confidence in them. She had 5 assists in the first half of the Championship game. She knows one person can’t win championships. Champions utilize the strengths of their teammates.
Gives Back: Tamika uses her platform to make a difference in the community through her Catching the Stars Foundation, providing academic and sports-related programs for at-risk youth. She’s well known for the ways she uses her off-season to encourage young people to reach for the stars! Champions use their influence to make a difference in the lives of others.