Thursday, March 31, 2016

Catch a Star by Tamika Catchings with Ken Petersen

This is an inspiring story of how Catchings rose above challenges to become one of the top WNBA players of all time.

She shares how she suffered from hearing loss as a young person. She wore hearing aids and was tormented and teased by classmates until she finally tossed them in a vacant lot. Her parents divorced and that was a challenge she had to overcome too.

I was impressed with her desire to play basketball even at a young age. She loved the game so much as a teen her goal was to play in the NBA as there was no women's league then. Her father had played professional basketball and he taught his daughters how to play the game. Catchings says her hearing loss forced her to pay attention to subtle body movements, a plus for playing basketball.

She takes us through her high school experience and a state championship. Then her time at Tennessee with coach Pat Summitt and an NCAA national championship. She had an ACL injury her senior year and wondered about the WNBA draft. But she was picked third by Indiana Fever, a team in their second year. Catchings won WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2002. She was on three Olympic teams and brought home three gold medals. She was essential to Indiana Fever's first ever WNBA championship in 2012. She was MVP of the league, of the championship series, and Defensive Player of the Year.

But her skill on the court is only half the story. More important is who Catchings is. She came to a point where she realized basketball was the most important thing in her life. She let God into her life, becoming born again, and made God in control of her life. She knows she has been gifted by God and gives back to her community, especially through her Catch the Stars Foundation she established in 2004, helping young people reach their dreams.

This is an encouraging book. Catchings is a great role model for young athletes. She has an inspiring character and exercises strength and persistence. I recommend it to basketball fans and young people ready to be inspired to be the best they can be.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever was the WNBA's 2011 MVP, a three time Olympic gold medalist, nine time WNBA All Star, four time All American, and a member of the National Champion University of Tennessee Lady Vols. You can find out more about her foundation at http://catchthestars.org/.
Ken Petersen has written numerous books over the years and helped many authors in their writing and publishing. He and his wife live in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Revell, 256 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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