KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee women’s basketball legend Tamika Catchings will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday evening. She is part of the nine-member 2020 class that will finally be enshrined after festivities were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Catchings follows in the footsteps of her head coach at Tennessee, the late Pat Summitt, who was the first and only other person associated with the Lady Vol program to be welcomed to that hall back in 2000.
The 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement, which will take place at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, will be televised live on ESPN from 5:30-8 p.m. ET on Saturday. The show will be hosted by Ahmad Rashad and feature a special performance by multi-Grammy award-winning artist Ne-Yo.
On Friday, the Class of 2020 press conference will be televised live on NBA TV from 2-3:30 p.m. ET. Host Marc Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated will facilitate a conversation with each inductee (or a representative for those honored posthumously) in the Class of 2020.
This year’s distinguished class includes honorees from the North American committee, Women’s Committee and International Committee. To be elected, North American and Women’s Committee finalists must receive 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2020 includes: 18-time NBA All-Star and five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant, 15-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA Finals MVP Tim Duncan, 15-time NBA All-Star and nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection Kevin Garnett, four-time National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton, two-time NBA Champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich, 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings, three-time NCAA National Championship Coach of Baylor Kim Mulkey, five-time Division II National Coach of the Year Barbara Stevens and long-time FIBA executive Patrick Baumann.
“The Class of 2020 is undoubtedly one of the most historic of all time and the talent and social influence of these nine honorees is beyond measure,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “In 2020, the basketball community has suffered the unimaginable loss of iconic figures Commissioner David Stern and Kobe Bryant, as well as the game itself due to COVID-19. We have also banded together like never before in appreciation of the game and those who have made it the uniting force it is today. Today we thank the Class of 2020 for all they have done for the game of basketball and we look forward to celebrating them at Enshrinement.”
Catchings, who played for the Lady Vols from 1997-2001, is one of only two UT players to earn WBCA All-America accolades all four years of her career and was a four-time All-SEC recipient, including three times as a first-team honoree.
The 6-1 forward from Duncanville, Texas, was a two-time All-Final Four recipient; the 2001 ESPY Awards Women’s Basketball Player of the Year; the 2000 Associated Press, WBCA, Naismith and U.S. Basketball Writers of America Player of the Year and the 1998 U.S. Basketball Writers of America and SEC Freshman of the Year. Catchings also was a three-time SEC All-Tournament Team member, and two-time NCAA All-Regional Tournament honoree and two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Catchings played a key role as Tennessee went 39-0 and won an NCAA title in 1998 and also helped the Lady Vols place second in 2000. Additionally, she was instrumental in the Big Orange winning four SEC regular season championships and three tournament crowns.
In Lady Vol history, Catchings remains fourth in all-time scoring with 2,113 points and is sixth with 1,004 career rebounds. She is one of only two UT players to record 2,000 points and 1,000 caroms. Catchings continues to rank third in steals (311), fourth in career field goals (760) and free throws (471), and ninth in blocked shots (136). She also is tied for most games played in a season with 39.
Catchings played 15 seasons with the Indiana Fever, was named the 2011 WNBA MVP and led that franchise to the 2012 WNBA Championship, earning Finals MVP honors. Catchings was a 10-time WNBA All-Star, a 12-time All-WNBA Team selection, a five-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year and the 2002 WNBA Rookie of the Year. She still holds the league’s all-time steals career mark and is employed by the Fever as vice president of basketball operations and general manager.
Also a member of the 2020 induction class into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, which will be enshrined in August, Catchings won four consecutive Olympic gold medals with Team USA from 2002-2016, tying for the most golds ever won in women’s basketball by an American woman and setting records for most Olympics participated in and most golds won by a Lady Vol.