The annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes "Road to Victory" Banquet will be held Tuesday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Former UT Women’s basketball All-American Tamika Catchings will be the keynote speaker for this annual fundraiser that benefits the Greater Chattanooga FCA.
"We are thrilled to have one of the best women’s basketball players in the world coming to Chattanooga to speak on behalf of FCA." stated local FCA Director Jay Fowler.
"Tamika Catchings is a champion in basketball and in life. She is one of only a handful of athletes in the world that has won championships at the highest level collegiately, professionally and in the Olympics. She has accomplished this despite a major hearing impairment throughout her life while maintaining her strong faith in Jesus Christ and her Christian example."
Catchings, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, has had success on the basketball court at every level. The daughter of former NBA player, Harvey Catchings, Tamika and her sister Tauja combined to lead Stevenson High School in Illinois to the state championship in the mid-90s. Legendary UT Coach Pat Summit recruited Catchings and in 1997 she became a Lady Vol.
One of the designated “three Meeks”, Tamika teamed with Chamique Holdsclaw and Sameka Randall to form the nucleus of one of the greatest Tennessee teams ever. UT won the NCAA championship in Tamika’s freshman year going undefeated that season. Catchings is one of only a handful of players to be named an All-American all four years of college as she led the Lady Vols in scoring all four seasons. She is one of only five Lady Vols to have her jersey number retired. Despite a major knee injury during her senior season she was selected third overall by the Indiana Fever in the 2001 WNBA draft.
Catchings recovered from her injury to be named the WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2002. In her 11 year career with the Fever she has been a 7 time WNBA All-Star, won the Defensive Player of the Year award 5 times, was the WNBA MVP in 2011, and was voted the WNBA Finals MVP this year as she led the Fever to their first-ever Championship. She is a three- time Olympic gold medalist and was again a key contributor to this year’s team that brought back the Gold Medal from London.
Tamika has also received numerous awards for her off the court service and community involvement including the Coach John Wooden Citizenship Cup Award, the Dawn Staley Leadership Award, and the Eleanor Roosevelt League Award for those Hard of Hearing. In 2004 she created the “Catch the Stars Foundation” to provide academic and sports-related programs for at-risk youth. Her work with youth in camps and on playgrounds and her visits to youth in hospitals are legendary in both Indianapolis and Knoxville.
About the banquet, Fowler stated, “The timing on having Tamika here is exciting also with high school basketball headed towards state tournaments, college conference tournaments preparing to tip and a legendary basketball star here to speak. We hope Lady Vols’ fans, FCA fans, and basketball fans in general will join us for this special event.”
The Greater Chattanooga FCA was founded locally in 1961 by Marion Gaston and several other local Christian business leaders. Road to Victory is the primary annual fund-raiser for the Greater Chattanooga FCA in its ministry to athletes and coaches on more than 60 high school, middle school, and college campuses in southeast Tennessee.
For additional information about Road to Victory please contact Jay Fowler at (423) 877-3561 or (423) 309-4255 or check out chattanoogafca.org.