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Women’s basketball star to give Ubben Lecture Nov. 22

Basketball star Tamika Catchings leans on a basketball
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Tamika Catchings, a four-time Olympic gold medalist and a 10-time WNBA All-Star, will come to DePauw University Nov. 22 to speak in the Timothy and Sharon Ubben Lecture Series.

Catchings, a member of championship college and professional basketball teams and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, is the general manager and vice president of basketball operations for the Indiana Fever, as well as an entrepreneur, author and philanthropist.

Her presentation, “Your Star is Within Reach,” is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in DePauw’s Kresge Auditorium, in the Green Center for the Performing Arts. It will be presented free of admission charge and is open to all. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and no tickets will be distributed.

As indicated in DePauw’s COVID-19 Guidelines related to large gatherings, all attendees (students, employees and guests), regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear masks. Catchings and the moderator will be unmasked while onstage. Spaced seating will be available in the auditorium.

A native of New Jersey, Catchings was named a WBCA All-American in high school and played in the WBCA High School All-America Game. The first player at any level to score a quintuple-double, she took her hoops talents to the University of Tennessee, earning four-time All-American honors, being named Naismith College Player of the Year and helping the Lady Vols take the national championship in an undefeated 1997-98 season.

The No. 3 draft pick of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, Catchings was named the league’s Rookie of the Year in 2002, was the five-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year. She led the Fever to the WNBA title in 2012. Catchings was the fastest player in league history to reach 2,000 career points, 1,000 rebounds, 400 assists and 30 steals. 

When she retired following the 2016 Summer Olympics, Catchings ranked No. 1 in all-time career total steals, steals per game average and career playoff rebounds, and was No. 2 all-time in scoring and rebounds. Her 12 consecutive playoff appearances were a WNBA record and playoff scoring and she was listed this year as one of the league’s 25 best-ever players in a list compiled to mark the WNBA’s 25th season. In 2020, she was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and in May joined the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

“Tamika is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word, someone whose success on the court and generosity off it have made her such an important figure in our sport,” said Herb Simon, chairman and chief executive officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “She is what young players aspire to be, and it is fitting that she is being recognized in this very special way.”

Catchings also makes a difference in her community. She launched the Catch the Stars Foundation in 2004, with an aim of empowering young people through programs that promote fitness, literacy and youth development. She oversees a number of business ventures, including two Tea’s Me Cafés in Indianapolis. Catchings is the co-author of the New York Times’ best-seller, “Catch a Star: Shining Through Adversity.”

Established in 1986 through the support of 1958 DePauw graduates Timothy H. and Sharon Williams Ubben, the lecture series was designed to “bring the world to Greencastle.” It has presented 115 events over the past 35 years. Previous Ubben lecturers have included Malala Yousafzai, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Spike Lee, Mikhail Gorbachev, Gen. Colin Powell, Jane Goodall, Tony Blair, Leslie Odom Jr. and Jimmy Kimmel.

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