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