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USBWA names top freshman award after Tamika Catchings



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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The nation's top freshman women's basketball player each season will win the Tamika Catchings Award starting this year.

The United States Basketball Writers Association announced Thursday during the Southeastern Conference women's basketball Media Day event that it's naming its national freshman of the year award after Catchings, the former Tennessee and WNBA star.

Catchings was the consensus national freshman of the year during the 1997-98 season when she helped Tennessee go 39-0 and win the national championship. She later played 16 seasons with the WNBA's Indiana Fever and won gold medals with the U.S. Olympic team in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016.

She has a master's degree in sports studies from Tennessee and has started the Catch The Stars Foundation, which promotes fitness, literacy and youth development in helping disadvantaged youths achieve their dreams.

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