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Tamika Catchings, your Grand Marshal of the 2024 Indy 500 Parade

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It is finally May, which means excitement for the Indianapolis 500 is at its peak. One of the top honors in the 500 festivities is to serve as the Grand Marshal of the Indianapolis 500 Parade. This year basketball legend, local entrepreneur and philanthropist Tamika Catchings will have those honors on May 25.

“It’s an honor to be selected as the 2024 AES 500 Festival Parade Grand Marshal,” Catchings said in a statement. “To be able to showcase the achievements that I’ve worked so hard for is truly something special.”

Catchings spent 16 seasons in the WNBA, became a 10-time All-Star, five-time Defensive Player of the Year, four-time Olympian, Rookie of The Year, WNBA MVP and brought the Indiana Fever a championship (along with being named Finals MVP) in 2012. Before her time in the league, Catchings won an NCAA National Championship in 1998 as a part of a powerful Tennessee squad led by hall of fame head coach Pat Summitt.

The standout small forward served as the president of the WNBA Players Association from 2012 until 2016. Catchings was also inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020.

President and CEO of the 500 Festival Bob Bryant said he is honored to have Catchings involved in the festivities.

“It is an honor to present Tamika Catchings as this year’s Grand Marshal. She is a living icon in the world of basketball but even more impressive is her story of perseverance and overcoming obstacles to achieve greatness and her dedication to supporting her community,” Bryant said.

Grand Marshal of the 2024 Indy 500 Parade Tamika Catchings posing with the iconic milk jug, often associated with the Indianapolis 500. (Photo/500 Festival)
Grand Marshal of the 2024 Indy 500 Parade Tamika Catchings posing with the iconic milk jug, often associated with the Indianapolis 500. (Photo/500 Festival)

Although Catchings has retired from basketball, she has not retired from scoring in the community. She is also a successful entrepreneur, owning the popular Tea’s Me Cafe in Indianapolis. A cozy cafe in the heart of the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood, Tarkington Park, Tea’s Me is known for its warm ambiance, pleasant beverages and overall welcoming aesthetic.

Catchings, not only a great WNBA player and businesswoman, is also a philanthropist and an advocate for children’s education and physical activity. In 2004, Catchings founded the Catch the Stars Foundation, which aims to empower and inspire young people through sports, literacy and leadership opportunities. The foundation offers diverse services such as fitness clinics, summer camps and book clubs to help children develop their skills and become leaders in their communities, like Tamika.

Bryant echoed similar sentiments when speaking about Catchings’ selection as Grand Marshal, highlighting the importance of the foundation.

“We are excited to share her story and shine a light on her work with the Catch the Stars Foundation,” Bryant said.

A role model and mentor to the participants of the program, Catchings often shares her experiences and inspires them always to chase their dreams.

“I’m proud to highlight my career and the Catch the Stars Foundation while encouraging children that they can achieve any goal they put their mind to,” Catchings said.

The Indianapolis 500 Parade kicks off on May 25 at Noon. For ticket information, visit 500festival.com.


Contact multi-media & sports reporter Noral Parham at (317)-762-7846 or via email at noralp@indyrecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @3Noral. For more news from the Indianapolis Recorder, click here.

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