Swish Appeal: What made you decide to partner up with the All State Good Works team for the second year in a row?
Tamika Catchings: "I think last year, the success that we had with the All State Good Works team, and the young ladies that were selected -- being able to come out to the Final Four last year, having a good time, I got an opportunity to speak with them and hang out for a little bit. And of course, we went out on the court to have them recognized and having them get honored and recognized for all the good things that they did in the community.
"It’s the same thing this year. (There) were more nominations that we had to go through – I think we had 84 nominations that were submitted by sports information directors. It’s always tough [trimming the list down]. But all the ladies, they do so many great things – just a lot of variety of different things in the community. Of course, because of what I do with my ‘Catch the Stars Foundation’; it’s just a natural fit. To be able to support these young ladies and organizations that is actively seeking people that are doing great things in the community."
SA: What have you been up to this offseason?
Catchings: "I chose this year to not go overseas, don’t know if I’ll go back, period -- just taking some time for myself, for the first half of the year. When the season was over last year to December, [I’ve been] just hanging out, traveling and spending a lot of family time. I started back in December to working out, easing back into it.
"I’ve just getting ready for the season, doing a lot of speaking engagements and of course my foundation, Catch the Stars. Also, doing work with the All State Good Works team and getting ready for the Final Four. I’m the president of the WNBPA, dealing with that and getting ready for the season."
SA: What are some things that you have doing with your foundation over the past few months?
Catchings: "We had our biggest turnout for camp this past December, and I think we had 235 (campers). We were supposed to max out at 200, but my sister was like, ‘We want to do it…we keep getting all these all these registrations. ‘ I just don’t believe in turning kids away. Because we wanted to make sure that everyone had a great Christmas.
"This is our tenth year of our foundation; we are in the process of putting together, and we got a lot of great things coming up this year. Celebrating ten years, which is huge for me, it’s kind of like a dream come true – being able to impact so many people."
SA: What is your message to all of the players selected for the All State Good Works team?
Catchings: "I think it’s a huge honor -- to be associated with All State and them being apart WBCA Good Works; it’s two great organizations. I think my one piece of advice is, ‘Keep inspiring!’ When you read about these things that these that these ladies have done, and we all know that being student-athlete is a job in itself: having to go school, keep your grades up, practice, games and study hall. You have a lot of different things on your plate that you have to juggle – on top of the excellent community work that they’ve done.
"They’ve been an inspiration for so many, not only in the community but right around the school and the communities that they’ve grew up in. My thing is, ‘Just keep inspiring. No matter what happens for you, whether you go the WNBA, or you have to get a job someone where else. You still have an opportunity to get out in whatever community you end up in, and continue to inspire people.’"