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Thursday, March 23, 2023


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Catchings injury a pause |

for greater things


I was once criticized by a close friend that I gave Indiana Fever star Tamika Catchings too much credit.

“She’s not the only player on the team,” my friend would often remind me.

“Really,” I would sarcastically reply.

See, what my friend didn’t understand was that I sat through game after game watching Catchings completely dominate while her teammates stood around like concrete statues. I witnessed her unbelievable passion for the game. I was in awe of her ability to play all five positions expertly and how defenses had absolutely no answer for her talent.

It’s utterly unfair that in a season marked for great things, Catchings spent most of it watching. First plantar fasciitis in her left foot that caused her to miss 13 games, the first six of which the Fever lost.

Now this. A right Achilles tendon tear suffered in the final minutes of the first half of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Catchings didn’t return and the Fever lost to last year’s champ, the Detroit Shock 81-65.

Fever coach Brian Winters called the injury “pretty significant” and others suggested that Catchings might not make the trip to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

What my friend also didn’t understand is that Catchings deserves to win. She plays hard every minute of every single play.

Even though she missed 13 games, she still led the team in points (16.6), rebounds (9), assists (4.7) and steals (3.14) a feat she hasn’t relinquished since she first put on a Fever uniform.

Unfortunately, every time she’s been on the brink of greatness, she’s fallen to injury. During her senior year at Tennessee, she suffered a torn right ACL. After being drafted by Indiana she suffered torn cartilage in the same knee and missed the entire season.

I can’t answer why horrible things happen to great people, but I do know this: Catchings will be back, stronger than ever. Great athletes always do.

A champion in high school, college and the Olympics, Catchings wants a WNBA title more than I want to see her win it.

You can never give too much credit when its been earned and Catchings deserves all the credit I and every one of her fans can give her.

Though it’s painful to see her go down, it will be incredible to watch her come back.

So I won’t ask why. I’ll only believe that now isn’t the time for Catchings. But when it comes – and it will – any question of credit due will be paid in full.

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