06/09/2011 09:03 am ET | Updated Aug 09, 2011

Helping Young Athletes Catch the Stars

Imagine going to gym class and getting paid for it. That's how I look
at my life as a WNBA player, president of the WNBA Players
Association and founder of my Catch the Stars Foundation here in
Indianapolis. I became passionate about sports when I was a little
girl growing up with a hearing problem, speech problem and the big
hearing aids enveloping my ears. I vowed never to go back to school
but when my parents kept telling me I had to go back to get smart, I
chose the next best thing -- sports! Soccer was my first organized
sport. Of course I played basketball because my father, Harvey
Catchings, played in the NBA during my younger years.

It was through sports, my parents and life's circumstances that I
learned that there were people that were less fortunate than us. My
Mom and Dad took it upon themselves to make sure that we gave away
turkeys at Thanksgiving, presents at Christmas, and that we were
always open to helping out others. I believe that the foundation my
parents set in our life early on is what has helped us always be
servants for God. The passion that I developed in sports early on has
carried over to the passion that I have in the community. In 2004, my
sister and I started our own 501 c3 charitable organization named the
Catch the Stars Foundation. Our mission is to empower youth to achieve
their dreams by providing goals setting programs that promote
literacy, fitness and mentoring. Through each one of our programs, I
love to see the smiles that are plastered on the kids' faces and the
way that spending TIME with them can change their life.

This week we will be hosting our Annual Catch the Stars Scholar
Athlete Reception in which we will award a male and female honoree
with a $2500 scholarship to the college of their choice. The program
has grown bigger and better from our start in 2006 and it is amazing
to hear the kids' stories, meet them and be able to honor them for one
night. This is one of many events that we do under CTSF, but it's
always rewarding to know that we truly are "preparing our youth to
catch their dreams one star at a time."