by Nigel Boys
Reigning WNBA champion and committed Christian Tamika Catchings had a recommendation for Super Bowl quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other followers of Christ as they prepared to play in Sunday’s big game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens.
Catchings said, “The biggest advice I’d give to Colin is to enjoy the moment.” She went on to say, “As for Christians: Before the game, find time to be in solitude and seriously be with God.”
At 6-foot-2, Catchings was an All-American forward at the University of Tennessee and is a three-time Olympic women’s basketball gold medalist. She was honored as the WNBA MVP for the 2011 season, and in October last year she led the Indiana Fever to the Women’s Professional Basketball title, a first for her and for the team.
“I felt that we were the underdog,” Catchings said. “Every night, before each game, I found myself talking to God. I found that it steadied me and prepared me for what was ahead.”
Catchings grew up in the Chicago area. Her father is former professional basketball player Harvey Catchings. But it wasn’t easy. She was born with a hearing disability in both ears. For many years, she wore a hearing aid and went to speech therapy.
Now she no longer thinks of herself as being at a disadvantage. In fact, she said, “I know that it is only by the grace of God that I stand here today. I think that God has allowed me to use my hearing disability and all of the adversity that I have faced as an example for so many all over the world.”
As for Colin Kaepernick and the other Christian players in Sunday’s big game, they may do well to consider Catchings’ take on competition as she is coming off the WNBA championship. Here is what she often says at pre-game chapel services: “We have to be able to go out there to battle, but all of us in this room—even though we are on opposite teams—we all play for an audience of one, which is God.
“So whether we win or lose, we are still winners in His eyes. We need to not be focused and tuned into the need to win or be saying ‘I can’t lose.’ We need to be focused on Him and be sure that, no matter what, at the end of the day, our glory is for Him.”