Tamika Catchings, world traveler

I don't even know where to begin with this blog. So much has gone on in the past few weeks, and it has truly been a whirlwind. Let's see ... from Istanbul, Turkey, to Knoxville, Tenn., to Los Angeles, to Indianapolis and back to Istanbul. Sound busy? How 'bout in the time span of three weeks

I travelled over to Istanbul to start training with my team, Galatasaray. Currently we're sitting first in the standings, but our crosstown rival, Fenerbache, is right on our heels. So our goal right now: win, win, win!! I was able to train with the team for a week and get in a game against Fenerbache before I returned back to America. After losing to our rivals twice the week before, we pulled off the "W" to secure the No. 1 spot in the standings. Woo hoo!

I flew back from Turkey first thing Sunday morning and was headed to Knoxville. My foundation -- Catch the Stars Foundation, Inc. -- partners with the University of Tennessee, so we had an event on campus. It was really cool to come back to my old stomping grounds and to see my coaches, the media and even fans who have followed my career. We had a press conference, took a tour of the new facilities, and then I headed down to practice with the Lady Vols.

It was a great experience for me, as I got a chance to talk to the ladies after their film session. I talked about having heart and passion while playing the game of basketball. It's all about having fun and truly enjoying the opportunities that God has given us. Things went well, and, at the end of practice, coach Pat Summitt commented on how well they practiced. I was happy to hear that, and I hope they can keep it up with the self-motivating tip.

After leaving Knoxville, I headed back to Indianapolis for a few days where we hosted our first Catch the Stars Foundation Friend-raiser. When it comes to the foundation, recently I've been focusing simply on raising awareness. People are more apt to support charities and foundations when they know the in's and out's of the organization. We have done great things in the community, but now, as we are looking for support, it's all about getting people "in the know" about CTSF.

So, after a few days in Indianapolis, I was off to L.A. The 2011 NBA All-Star Game was hosted there last month, and I joined a few other WNBA players in attendance to make sure everyone knew that the LADIES ARE IN THE HOUSE!! : ) I had a great time participating in the fitness clinics, playing in the Celebrity Game, making appearances, attending the Technology Summitt and making it to a few parties mixed in there. Normally work is work, fun is fun, but the All-Star experience combines all of the above -- lovely!! The best part of All-Star Weekend for me (outside of playing in the Celebrity Game) is reconnecting with all of the people I've met throughout the years and developing new friendships.

Even during my weekend "off," I kept trying to raise awareness for my foundation. One day I want CTSF to be on the same level as the Dawn Staley Foundation and the Women's Sports Foundation. After a great weekend, I caught a red-eye back to Indianapolis Lucky me, I got in the next day -- amidst all of the winter storms in the Midwest.

I will be leaving for Istanbul again on Sunday, and, after the last three weeks, I am looking forward to being settled in one place. I will focus solely on basketball and what I need to do to help our team win. That's my job!

Not everyone's schedule is as crazy as mine, but in the midst of all the madness I do get my workouts in. I have to stay in shape, and I always have to be ready. I'm excited about the next couple of months in Istanbul and all of the things we have planned for Catch the Stars Foundation, Inc. On that note, I'm going to sign off. If there's anything that you would like to know more about, feel free to e-mail me at catchthestars24@aol.com. I would love to hear all of your suggestions/feelings. Thanks for your support!

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