Anytime a player is chosen to represent her team in the WNBA All-Star game, it is considered an honor and, most times, a rare privilege to be chosen by the growing fan base of the sport based on her overall ability as a player.
This is ultimately the case for Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings. What's not surprising is the fact that she has been voted to play in the game nine times--one for every year she has played in the WNBA.
"It means a lot," Catchings said. "I'm very excited to be back in Texas. My whole family's going to be down there and we're going to have a reunion."
The Fever forward join's Seattle Storm's Sue Bird in the number of All-Star games both have been chosen for--nine of which they have been selected overall with seven of those games where both were starters on their conference's team.
Catchings led all selected players with 32,706 votes followed by Bird who received 25,077 nods from the fan base. Joining the Fever All-Star in the starting lineup for the East is New York Liberty's Cappie Pondexter at guard, Connecticut's Tina Charles at center, Angel McCoughtry at forward from the Atlanta Dream, and fellow Fever teammate Katie Douglas at guard. Douglas currently leads the Fever in scoring with 16.4 points per game followed by Catchings' 13.3 scores on average at this point in the season.
"As far as being the top vote getter, it's definitely an honor for so many people to watch my game and to be so supportive of me," Catchings said.
Despite snapping their seven-game winning streak with an 80-70 loss to Minnesota on Friday, head coach Lin Dunn was thrilled for her two veteran players based on the fact that they were not only named to the All-Star team but are among the five starters on the roster.
"I was thrilled for them, it was very well-deserved," Dunn said. "It doesn't surprise me a bit that they were such high vote-getters."
Katie Douglas reached double figures in the scoring column Friday night but seemed more excited for the opportunity to play alongside Catchings and represent the Eastern Conference.
"It's my first honor to be voted in by the fans so I'm definitely humbled and just as gracious by their votes and support," Douglas said. "[Tamika] just told me about her family reunion, so I'd definitely like to get a plate and be apart of that down in San Antonio."
Before Catchings and Douglas head off to Texas for the All-Star game on July 23rd, the Fever will hit the road to face Connecticut and Atlanta before coming home next Thursday to square off against the Chicago Sky.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times