COLUMBUS, Ga. - The Columbus State University Athletics Department recently announced that the 8th Annual Girls In The Game Luncheon will be held on Thursday, April 13 in the Frank G. Lumpkin Jr. Center, with presenting sponsor Hughston Clinic. This year's keynote speaker, Tamika Catchings, is a WNBA Hall of Famer and four-time Olympic gold medalist. Following the luncheon, Catchings will host a youth basketball clinic on CSU's Main Campus.
"We are thrilled to welcome Tamika Catchings as the keynote speaker for the 8th Annual Girls In The Game Luncheon," said Todd Reeser, Director of Athletics. "Since our inception, we have been so fortunate to have such inspirational female leaders headline our marquee event, and welcoming a basketball legend to the stage will undoubtedly be impactful to all those who join us during the 2023 Girls In The Game activities."
One of the most decorated athletes of all time and arguably the greatest woman ever to play professional basketball, Catchings has left an indelible mark at every level of the game. She completed 16 seasons for the Indiana Fever, including winning the 2012 WNBA championship, and is honored as a four-time Olympic gold medalist, 10-time WNBA All-Star and five-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Catchings is a recipient of the very first ESPN Humanitarian Award in 2015 and completed 14 years of community service in her Catch The Stars Foundation, which empowers the youth by providing goal setting programs that promote fitness, literacy and youth development. She currently serves as director of player programs and franchise development with Pacers Sports & Entertainment, is an ambassador with the NBA and WNBA, and serves on a developmental committee with USA Basketball and as an SEC ESPN Women's Basketball Analyst.
"We continue to raise the bar with the talented women we have attracted as our keynote speakers," stated the Chair of Girls In The Game, Janet Davis. "Tamika's story and accomplishments are unprecedented and will be inspirational to all in attendance, and we have been grateful to grow this event to an incredible level in a short time through the generosity of support from our sponsors and patrons."
Launched in 2015, the Girls In The Game mission is to advance and support Columbus State University's female student-athletes, allowing them to reach their full potential academically and athletically, while empowering them to become leaders in life.
In 2019, eight female student-athletes were recognized as the first Girls In The Game scholar athletes and received scholarship support from proceeds. Since then, 32 female student-athletes have received scholarships. Past speakers include tennis legend Tracy Austin, FIFA Women's World Cup Champion Brandi Chastain, World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sörenstam, and World Softball Champion Jennie Finch.
For more information on Girls In The Game and to purchase tickets and register for the clinic, please click here.
Individuals, businesses and organizations wishing to donate toward the Girls In The Game endowment or be a sponsor of the luncheon can contact Madeline Acton in CSU Athletics at firstname.lastname@example.org.