She is one of the greatest women’s basketball players of all time, and after 16 seasons as the face of the Indiana Fever franchise, fittingly, Tamika Catchings’ No. 24 jersey will be retired to the Bankers Life Fieldhouse rafters. The only player in club history to wear No. 24, Catchings becomes the first player in franchise history to have her number retired.
Catchings’ banner at The Fieldhouse will join those of her former coach, Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Lin Dunn, plus Indiana Pacers honorees Roger Brown (#35), Mel Daniels (#34), George McGinnis (#30), Reggie Miller (#31), coach Bobby “Slick” Leonard and owner Mel Simon.
The Fever will conduct a banner-raising ceremony for Catchings during halftime of their game on Saturday, June 24 against defending WNBA champion Los Angeles, whom the Fever beat one month ago on May 24. Weekend festivities actually tip off Friday, June 23 with a Fall Creek Block Party from 5-9 p.m., near Catchings’ Tea’s Me Café (140 E. 22nd Street), featuring a KIDS ZONE built by Catchings’ Catch The Stars Foundation.
Special-offer tickets for Tamika Catchings Jersey Retirement Celebration presented by Hoosier Lottery are available at FeverBasketball.com/24. By using offer code CATCH24, fans can purchase two Lower Level tickets for $24, or four Krieg DeVault Club Level tickets for $24. Those offers are available online only.
Arena activities next Saturday include face painting, balloon artists, caricatures, poster stations and more. The first 3,000 fans will receive a commemorative Tamika Catchings #24 poster. Friday’s block party includes a chance to meet Catchings, along with fun from Freddy Fever and the Fever Fan Van, and food and drink available from Tea’s Me Café.
A four-time Olympic gold medalist, Catchings was recently named Director of Player Programs and Franchise Development with Pacers Sports & Entertainment. Widely regarded for her own community work and professional leadership as a player, Catchings joined the Indiana franchise in 2001 when she was the club’s first-round draft selection — just one year after the Fever were established. She has been a constant ambassador and respected representative of the NBA, WNBA and Pacers Sports & Entertainment throughout her career.
More than a basketball player, Catchings has routinely earned distinction as one of the nation’s finest citizen-athletes with committed community engagement throughout the country and even internationally. In 2015, she was inaugural winner of the ESPN Sports Humanitarian of the Year. Last summer, she became the first two-time recipient of the WNBA’s Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award and the first three-time winner of the WNBA’s Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award.
The 37-year old Catchings matched an Olympic basketball record for men or women while earning her fourth Olympic gold medal last summer. The 12-time All-WNBA recipient and 10-time WNBA All-Star helped lead the Fever to a league-record 12 consecutive playoff appearances, 13 overall. The 2011 league MVP and 2012 Finals MVP, she retired as the leading rebounder in WNBA history and its No. 2 all-time scorer. She was named the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year an unprecedented five times.
Catchings continues to serve as an ambassador for the NBA and WNBA, and was recently named to USA Basketball’s Women’s Developmental National Team Committee. She also began a broadcasting career as a college basketball analyst last season with ESPN. She covers Fever games broadcast on MyIndyTV-23 this summer.