Friday, September 28, 2012

Tamika Catchings Named 2012 WNBA Defensive Player of Year

For the fifth time in her career, Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings has been named the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year presented by Boost Mobile, the league announced today. Catchings previously won the award in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010.

Equally adept on the offensive end, this season Catchings finished first in the East and second overall in scoring among forwards (17.4 ppg) and third in the conference in field goals made (200). She led Indiana in rebounds (7.6 rpg), defensive rebounds (5.8 drpg), double-doubles (10), steals (2.06 spg) and blocks (0.85 bpg).

Honored as the Eastern Conference Player of the Month presented by Boost Mobile for August, Catchings ranked fourth in the league in defensive rebounds and double-doubles, fifth in steals, and sixth in rebounds.

Catchings, referred to as Indiana’s “do-everything” forward, is in her 12th season of league play. The 2011 WNBA Most Valuable Player is also a seven-time WNBA All-Star.

In honor of being named the Defensive Player of the Year presented by Boost Mobile, Catchings will receive $5,000 and a trophy specially designed by Tiffany & Co.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Former Lady Vols media director sues, claims Summitt was forced out

The University of Tennessee's former Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations is suing the university and Athletic Director Dave Hart.

Debby Jennings, the long-time coordinator who worked closely with the Lady Vols and Pat Summitt, announced her retirement in May. But a week later, Jennings' attorney claimed she was forced out, and hinted that a lawsuit could be filed.

On Thursday, the suit was filed, with Jennings claiming unlawful discrimination and retaliation. She is asking for a trial by jury along with monetary and injunctive relief.

According to attorney David Burkhalter, Jennings is specifically asking for a court order to require Hart and others in the athletics department to undergo "appropriate diversity and ethics training."

In the lawsuit, Jennings also claims that Dave Hart forced Lady Vols head coach Pat Summitt to step down. She says Hart met with Summitt in March before the NCAA tournament and informed her she would no longer coach the Lady Vols.

Jennings goes on to say that Hart informed Summitt he would be hiring Holly Warlick as the Lady Vols head coach.

She says Summitt told her of the meeting and that she was "very upset and extremely hurt."

When Summitt announced her retirement, Summitt said it was her idea to step down because of her battle with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.

Tennessee Vice Chancellor for Communications, Margie Nichols, cited that press conference and said Jennings' claims are baseless, calling them "absolutely not true." She said it was Summitt's idea to become head coach emeritus.

Jennings has deferred comment to her attorney.

Kara Lawson Receives 2012 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award

Connecticut Sun guard Kara Lawson was named the recipient of the 2012 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award, the WNBA announced today.

Designed to honor a player who exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship - ethical behavior, fair play and integrity - the award is named for the late Kim Perrot, who helped guide the Houston Comets to their first two WNBA championships, before passing away in August 1999, after a seven-month battle with cancer.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Buy Purple & Orange Pansies at Stanley's and help fight Alzheimer's

On a crisp, fall day, Lady Vols' Head Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt visited Stanley's Greenhouses and Plant Farm on Davenport Road in South Knoxville. She was there to announce the Alzheimer's Pansy Project to raise money for the Pat Summitt Foundation.

Both locations of Stanley's Greenhouses will donate proceeds from sales of orange and purple pansies (through the end of November) to the foundation named after Summitt, who announced in 2011 that she had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's.

The goal of the project is for East Tennesseans to plant purple and orange pansies at their businesses or homes. The two colors were picked because purple is the color associated with the fight against Alzheimer's and orange is for the University of Tennessee.

Stanley's is located at 3029 Davenport Road in South Knoxville. Their Secret Garden is located at 305 South Northshore Drive, near Kingston Pike and Northshore.

For more information call 865-573-9591.

Friday, September 14, 2012

More honors for Pat Summitt

The Knoxville Association of Women Executives honored former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt on Thursday as their 2012 Notable Woman Award Winner.

Summitt, who stepped down in April after 38 years as coach of the Lady Vols to become head coach emeritus for the program, was selected from a group of women nominated by the community and selected by a committee of KAWE members.

A cash award will be given to a charity of the winner's choice. Summitt, who has been diagnosed with early onset dementia Alzheimer's type, has established the Pat Summitt Foundation, which makes grants to nonprofit organizations that provide Alzheimer's education and research as well as support services.

Last Friday, Summitt was recognized by UT with a Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award, which honors alumni who have attained extraordinary distinction and success in their chosen fields.

Former UT guard Kara Lawson Barling, an analyst with ESPN and a member of the WNBA's Connecticut Sun, received an Alumni Promise Award, which recognizes alumni 40 years old or younger.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Catchings Draws WNBA Monthly Honors

Former Lady Vol Named WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month

A day after earning WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week accolades, former Lady Vol Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever was named the WNBA's Eastern Conference Player of the Month presented by Boost Mobile on Wednesday. The award was for games played from Aug. 16 (when the league resumed play following its break for the 2012 Olympic Games) through the end of the month.

For Catchings, the WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month presented by Boost Mobile award is the second of her career. She previously earned the award in July 2010, the first year in which the league recognized monthly performance.

In leading the Fever to a 6-1 record in August (tops in the East), Catchings helped Indiana clinch its eighth consecutive berth in the WNBA Playoffs presented by Boost Mobile, the longest active streak in the Eastern Conference. Along the way the 11th-year pro shared the conference lead in steals (2.14 spg), ranked third in scoring (16.6 ppg), tied for third in both assists (4.1 apg) and blocks (1.29 bpg), and was fourth in rebounds (7 rpg).

The WNBA career leader in steals and free throws made (827 and 1,541, respectively), Catchings also ranks in the top 10 all-time in rebounds (fourth, with 2,551), points (fifth, 5,618), assists (eighth, 1,230), three-point field goals made (eighth, 491), and total field goals made (tenth, 1,793).

Catchings' stellar effort during August came on the heels of her performance in the 2012 Olympics where she helped the United States Women's Olympic Basketball Team earn a fifth consecutive gold medal (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012), an Olympic record for traditional women's team sports.

This marks the first season that Boost Mobile - the league-wide marquee partner of the WNBA - has presented the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month awards.

Highlights of Catchings' WNBA action in August included:
  • Aug. 16 vs. Washington: Double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds in an 84-66 win
  • Aug. 18 vs. Atlanta: 17 points, nine rebounds, and five assists in an 86-72 victory.
  • Aug. 28 vs. Washington: 17 points, five boards, five assists, two steals, and two blocks in an 83-68 win 
  • Aug. 30 at New York: 22 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals in a 76-63 win
  • Sept. 1 vs. Chicago: Double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, three steals in an 81-64 win

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Legendary Coach Pat Summitt to be Honored as 12th Titan Sunday at LP Field

Legendary Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt will be honored as the 12th Titan in a special ceremony prior to kickoff of the Tennessee Titans home opener against the New England Patriots on Sunday, Sept. 9. In addition, Titans owner K.S.”Bud” Adams, Jr. will donate $25,000 to the Pat Summitt Foundation in an effort to raise awareness and help find a cure to Alzheimer’s disease.

“I am very thankful for the generous support of Mr. Bud Adams and the Tennessee Titans' franchise,” said Summitt. “My son, Tyler and I have enjoyed attending Tennessee Titans games and cheering for our home state football team. I am humbled and excited that the Tennessee Titans have joined our team in fighting Alzheimer's disease through the The Pat Summitt Foundation.”