Scoring another goal, basketball legend Catchings debuts as an SEC Network analyst

New SEC Network women's basketball analyst Tamika Catchings won four Olympic gold medals playing for the United States. (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)
New SEC Network women’s basketball analyst Tamika Catchings won four Olympic gold medals playing for the United States. (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)
Catchings was a standout player at Tennessee before becoming a WNBA star. (Photo courtesy of University of Tennessee Athletics)
Catchings was a standout player at Tennessee before becoming a WNBA star. (Photo courtesy of University of Tennessee Athletics)

Most people know Tamika Catchings for her outstanding basketball career: A four-time Olympic gold medalist, the four-time All-American played for Pat Summitt at Tennessee and went on to become one of the best players in the WNBA.

Catchings spent 15 years with the WNBA’s Indiana Fever before announcing her retirement this past season. However, she isn’t saying goodbye to the game; instead, she’s trading in her sneakers for a headset, serving as a game analyst for women’s basketball games on SEC Network this season.

Watching more games, reading up on notes from different people, and monitoring how other analysts call games were at the top of the list for how Catchings prepared for her new role.

When asked if she ever envisioned her post-playing career would include being a sports broadcaster, Catchings said: “As a young child I was always self-conscious about how I sounded. I never even imagined doing speaking engagements, which I do pretty often now. So the thought of being on TV and talking basketball – I never imagined I would be doing this.”

Catchings has been very open about the adversity she’s encountered and overcome due to her hearing loss. As a result, she has inspired so many, and will continue to do so when she calls her first game today at 2 p.m. when Kentucky hosts Texas A&M. She will work alongside commentator Courtney Lyle and analyst LaChina Robinson.

I did go back and forth on whether I should take this role because of my impairments, but at the end of the day, all of the people on my team challenged me to take on this role because of the other young girls and boys who may aspire to be in this position one day.
– Tamika Catchings

“I did go back and forth on whether I should take this role because of my impairments, but at the end of the day, all of the people on my team challenged me to take on this role because of the other young girls and boys who may aspire to be in this position one day,” Catchings said. “It gives them a role model to look up to.”

Catchings, who in 2015 won the first-ever Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award presented by ESPN and PlayStation, is eager to apply her experiences to this next chapter in her career.

“Growth comes during different phases of players’ collegiate careers, so I’m looking forward to reconnecting with the college game and being able to see some of the players prior to them having an opportunity to make it to the next level.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here