Aside from participating in WNBA Cares events, Catchings created her own Catch the Stars foundation.
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NEW YORK, June 24, 2008 – Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever was named the recipient of the 2007 Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award today in recognition of her outstanding work in the Indianapolis community with her Catch the Stars Foundation. The award recognizes the player who best exemplifies the characteristics of a leader in the community and reflects Staley’s leadership, spirit, charitable efforts and love for the game.
The Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award is presented annually. Each WNBA team nominated one player and a designated committee selected Catchings as the winner. The WNBA will make a $10,000 donation to a charity of Catchings' choosing.
“Dawn Staley’s dedication to her community has greatly enhanced her already illustrious career and exemplifies the WNBA’s spirit of giving back,” said WNBA President Donna Orender. “I cannot think of a more fitting recipient for this award than Tamika Catchings, the ultimate example of a positive role model to young people who strive to do great things.”
Since Catchings created the organization in 2004, the Catch the Stars Foundation’s goals have been to help motivate and provide opportunities for youth in the Indianapolis area to achieve their dreams and goals through positive academic and sports-related programs.
"It is definitely a wonderful honor to be receiving the Dawn Staley Award,” said Catchings. “She has been a great leader throughout her career in women’s basketball – not only on the court, but in the community as well. She has personally been a great role model for me and so many others. I will remember this award forever."
Catch the Stars has two mentoring programs – Sisters Teaching and Reaching Sisters (STARS) and Changing Habits and Making People Successful (CHAMPS) and hosted several basketball and reading clinics to hundreds of young boys and girls in the city of Indianapolis. In addition, toward the end last season, she gave away 250 backpacks filled with school supplies during the Catch the Stars Back-to-School Celebration at the Brookside Park Family Center. Catchings also helped build a home during the Fever’s second annual Habitat for Humanity Mother’s Day Build.
“I can't think of a person who better describes what this award truly stands for,” said Dawn Staley. “Tamika's talent on the basketball court is well documented, but what she does for young people on a daily basis should be modeled by all. She's an incredible gift who understands the true sense of sharing her talents on every level."
In addition to her work with Catch the Stars, the Fever star is a regular participant and avid supporter of WNBA Cares events and causes. Catchings is also a Big Sister for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and the All-Star forward participated in the Fever Give-A-Game Program for the fifth consecutive year by purchasing a block of 16 tickets for each home game – the Catchings Corner – which she donates to disadvantaged youth in the community.
About the WNBA
Comprised of 14 teams and entering its 12th season, the WNBA is the longest-running and most successful women’s professional team sports league in America. The 2008 season tips off May 17 with ESPN2 again providing appointment viewing in the form of its “WNBA Tuesdays” telecasts. Combined coverage on ABC and ESPN2 will include 21 national telecasts, while NBA TV – the league’s 24-hour television network – will offer 70 regular-season contests.
The WNBA is deeply committed to WNBA CARES programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on promoting health and fitness, breast health awareness, reading and youth basketball programs. For more information on the WNBA, log on to WNBA.com.
LOS ANGELES, June 24 (AP) -- Candace Parker dunked for the second consecutive game and had 22 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks to lead the Los Angeles Sparks to a 76-62 victory over the Seattle Storm on Tuesday night.
"Candace is definitely improving every single game,'' the Sparks' Lisa Leslie said. "It has taken her a while to make the adjustment, but her work ethic is definitely improving day by day, and it's part of our responsibility to make sure she gets that in practice.''
DeLisha Milton-Jones added 19 points and Marie Ferdinand-Harris had 16 points for the Sparks (10-3), who have won six of seven.
Sue Bird scored 11 points for the Storm (8-7), who have lost four of five. Lauren Jackson, Swin Cash and Tanisha Wright added 10 points apiece.
Parker dunked with her right hand with 57 seconds left to play after making a steal and dribbling the length of the court. Parker had her first pro dunk Sunday against Indiana.
"I had the opportunity to play with the national team in college, which helped me,'' Parker said of her transition to the WNBA. "Now, it's just getting adjusted to the schedule and taking care of your body; Lisa and DeLisha stay on me about lifting.''
Parker flew to New York following Sunday night's game to receive the Honda-Broderick Cup as the nation's top female college athlete. Then she flew back to Los Angeles on Monday night.
Parker had three points and a block during a 5-0 spurt that gave Los Angeles a 35-33 halftime lead.
Ferdinand-Harris and Parker then combined for 17 points in the third quarter, with Ferdinand-Harris scoring nine, to extend the Sparks' lead to 57-43. The Storm scored only two points in the final 4:26 of the third quarter.
The New York Liberty will make professional basketball history on Saturday, July 19, when the team plays the WNBA's first regular-season outdoor game at Arthur Ashe Statium, the home of tennis' U.S. Open.
In addition to making professional basketball history, the Liberty Outdoor Classic, sponsored by American Express and The Hallmark Channel, will be the first non-tennis sporting event to take place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens, which is the largest public outdoor tennis facility in the world.
Following the game, Epic Record's youngest hot singing group, MENUDO, will perform a concert free for all ticket holders!
During halftime and prior to Menudo's post game concernt, V FACTORY, will be performing as well.
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), an independent 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to achieve prevention and a cure for breast cancer, will serve as the beneficiary of the Liberty Outdoor Classic, as a portion of the proceeds from the game's ticket sales – as well as various fundraising activities throughout the evening – will benefit the BCRF. This will be the second year that the Liberty has partnered with the BCRF for its annual Breast Health Awareness Night.
Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness pro basketball outdoors. Individual game tickets for the Liberty Outdoor Classic as well as the Liberty's 2008 regular season go on sale April 17. Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, on-line at NYLiberty.com, through the WNBA Ticketmaster charge-by-phone number 877-WNBA-TIX, all Ticketmaster outlets and at Ticketmaster.com.
Ticket prices are $10.00, $15.00, $34.50, $39.50, $64.50, and $85.00. To score a Liberty ticket plan – starting at just three games – call 212-465-6073 to purchase. Group ticket orders of 20 or more can be purchased by calling 212-465-6080.
ATLANTA, July 5 (AP) - The Atlanta Dream's wait for their first win is over.
Ivory Latta scored 16 of her 18 points in the second half to help the expansion Dream end the longest losing skid to start a season in league history with a 91-84 victory over the Chicago Sky on Saturday night.
After the win, the often bubbly Latta hopped around the court as her Dream (1-17) teammates surrounded her in a huddle, blue and white confetti pouring over them.
"It was just this great feeling inside knowing we finally got one,'' Latta said. "I looked up into the crowd and saw all the smiling faces and felt that this is what they deserve.''
Kristin Haynie had 11 points and 11 assists and Jennifer Lacy added 18 points for Atlanta (1-17), which became the first team without a win by the midpoint of the season when it lost to Connecticut on June 27 to fall to 0-14.
"Everyone stepped up and just had the mind-set of contributing,'' Haynie said. "It was all about us getting it done.''
Atlanta was routed in a home-and-home series with the Sky (5-11) last month. Chicago won 86-72 in Atlanta on June 6, then followed with a 91-70 victory at home to set a franchise record for largest margin of victory.
Tamera Young, Betty Lennox and Iziane Castro Marques had 10 points apiece for the Dream, who overcame a 13-point deficit in the first quarter for the win.
Lacy helped the Dream hold a 46-35 lead at halftime, scoring 11 in the first half. Despite starting off slowly, she said the team never lost hope.
"There was so much time left,'' Lacy said. "We couldn't give up. We couldn't let this one slip through, so we kept pushing.''
A layup by Chasity Melvin and another from Dominique Canty gave Chicago an 81-80 lead with 1:54 left in the fourth, but the Sky would not lead again after Atlanta scored six straight points.
Canty, who finished with 10 points, said the lost hurt more than the others because they didn't want to be the first team to lose to the Dream.
"The momentum changed,'' Canty said. "They hit all their shots and they didn't let up.''
Young made two free throws to put the Dream up 82-81 with 1:36 remaining. Latta, who played only five minutes in the first half, scored on a layup, then Young added two more free throws to push Atlanta's lead to five points.
"She's a winner, she's an absolute winner,'' coach Marynell Meadors said of Latta. "It's never say die with her. She just looks at me with those big eyes and I know she wants it.''
After a scramble for a rebound, the ball bounced out to Jia Perkins, who knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 86-84 with 20.7 seconds remaining. But the Dream pulled away, making their next five free throws.
"We have to finish plays,'' Sky coach Steven Key said. "There were several factors that contributed tonight, not just not getting rebound after missed free throws. We just couldn't finish.''
Perkins led Chicago with 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Candice Dupree added 19 points.
With the win, Meadors said her team has some newfound confidence before the Dream begins a six-game road trip that begins next week.
"We finally got some smiles,'' the coach said. "We can actually walk with our heads up high and shoulders back. I think now we'll be OK.''