Hall of Famer Tamika Catchings spends time helping kids during basketball clinic

Tamika Catchings hopes kids will leave the clinic knowing anything is possible.
Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 12:03 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - On Sunday, former Lady Vol and four-time Olympic gold medalist, Tamika Catchings, helped host a Legacy Basketball clinic for children at the Boys and Girls Club in Knoxville.

“Giving back to the kids at the Boys and Girls Club, and just doing a lot of fun things that’s what life is about,” shared Catchings.

Catchings spent time with other volunteers, helping kids with their agility and coordination skills on the basketball court.

Some of the kids enrolled in the clinic were those who have hearing loss or other communication challenges.

Ashley Harkrider, a professor and Department Chair of the University of Tennessee’s Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology said Catchings’ journey is inspirational to kids in the clinic.

“For these kids to see that a hearing impairment or some sort of communication disorder does not stop them from being able to achieve their goals and dreams, is just an amazing legacy for her to leave behind,” said Harkrider.

Harkrider also shared that Catchings was a patient at UT’s Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, dealing with a hearing impairment of her own, while playing ball at the school.

As a parent, Jenny Graham says her 9-year-old son Jaygen, has autism, and is thrilled to be a part of the clinic.

“He doesn’t usually get to do fun camps like this because he does have autism and several other medical issues, and most people tell him you can’t do it. But this one he could, he was so excited,” said Graham.

Catchings hopes children will leave the clinic knowing it’s okay to dream big.

“It doesn’t matter what level you’re at, when you come in and you work hard and you give everything you have, anything is possible. Dream big, set your goals high and anything you can dream you can be,” said Catchings.

The former WNBA player was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Catchings also has a Tamika Catchings Scholarship at the University of Tennessee’s Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, that supports graduate students who are learning how to work with individuals with a hearing impairment.

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