KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Newly inducted Lady Vol Hall of Famer Tamika Catchings helped host a youth basketball clinic at the Boys & Girls Club Regal Teen Center in Knoxville Sunday.
Just one day after being inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Tamika was back in the community playing basketball with local kids.
She said she remembers being in those kid’s shoes.
“I can’t even imagine way back when I was a little girl and dreaming of coming to Knoxville and playing underneath Pat Summit,” Tamika said. “Just the impact that she would have on my life and just the impact that this city and the fans that have been here, it’s just been amazing.”
She wasn’t going to let anything stop her from accomplishing her goals. Including a hearing impartment.
“Tamika was a patient of ours at the University of Tennessee when she was a student,” Ashley Harkrider,
professor and chair of the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology at UT said
The Lady Vol legend turned her adversity into opportunity by encouraging others with hearing loss to follow their dreams.
“We are here doing a legacy clinic and we are so excited to get out on the floor and have some fun,” Tamika said.
Clinics like these mean so much to people like Jaygen Graham and his mom Jenny.
“Jaygen goes to UT for the speech and hearing center and has for 7 years and his speech therapist actually recommended him,” Jenny said.
She said Jaygen loves basketball but doesn’t usually get these types of opportunities.
“He doesn’t usually get to do fun camps like this because he has autism and other medical issues and most people tell him he can’t do it,” Jenny added. “But this one he could and he was so excited.”
The clinic was not only a way for Jaygen and the other children to have fun, it was also an opportunity for them to learn about hard work and setting goals.
“A hearing impartment or some sort of communication disorder does not stop them from achieving their goals and dreams is just an amazing legacy for her to leave behind,” Harkrider said.
Tamika Catchings’ is helping to turn those “can’ts” into “cans” and dreams into plans for a new generation of athletes.