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Catch Catchings Helping Others

imagesCA7WXOUJ(Youth1 Basketball) - Tameka Catchings has had a year that few athletes can even dream of. She is a community leader from the Indiana Fever who won the 2012 WNBA Championship, where she was named the Finals MVP. She also won a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games and served as the President of the WNBA Players Association.  Now she's in a position to help others realize their dreams, as they were a source of strength in her life growing up.  

Catchings became passionate about sports when she was a little girl growing up with a hearing and speech problem.  Catchings wore large hearing aids that enveloped her ears. She never wanted to go to school and deal with her disabilities, but when her parents told her she had to go to 'get smart', she decided to get involved in sports while she went. Soccer was her first organized sport, but she also played basketball because of her father, Harvey Catchings, who played in the NBA during her younger years. It was through athletics, her parents, and life's circumstances that she learned about true poverty.

“I believe that the foundation my parents set in our life early on is what has helped us always be servants for God. The passion that I developed in sports early on has carried over to the passion that I have in the community,” said Catchings to the Huffington Post.

In 2004, Catchings and her sister started their own charitable organization named the Catch the Stars Foundation. Their mission is to empower youth to achieve their dreams by providing goals setting programs that promote literacy, fitness and mentoring. These programs encourage leading healthier lifestyles through mentoring, basketball camps, and fitness clinics. 

“I love to see the smiles that are plastered on the kids' faces and the way that spending TIME with them can change their life,” said Catchings.

As a part of Youth1's current Year of the Girl Campaign, which highlights young female athlete’s abilities and recognizes their contributions in sports, we salute Tameka Catchings in her very impressive work on and off the court with girl’s sports.

By: Clarisse Kabongo

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