Player Comparisons: Kaela Davis x Tamika Catchings
The Lady Vols keep their winning tradition alive.
SLAMonline Player Comparisons provides a new look at top girls’ high school prospects by comparing them with a WNBA player or current NCAA All-American. For our high school followers, it’ll give a glimpse into the future of some of the top names on the scene today. Player Comparisons also looks back at the body of work of current college and pro players, many of whom were SLAM All-Americans during their prep careers.
|Player||Tamika Catchings||Kaela Davis|
ROOTS IN CHICAGO
Catchings spent her formative years in the Chicago area and played two years of high school basketball at Stevenson High School. She led her team to a state championship her sophomore year, before moving to Texas to finish her high school eligibility. Davis grew up in the Chicago area as a child, before moving to Georgia with her family. It was in Chi-Town where she first gained a love for the game.
BLEEDS TENNESSEE ORANGE
Catchings stepped on to campus as a freshman in ‘97-98 and helped the Lady Volunteers to an undefeated season and gave coach Pat Summitt her sixth National Championship. She ranks as the sixth all-time leading scorer in Lady Vol history with 16.6 points per game. Davis has already committed to play for the Lady Volunteers after she graduates high school in 2013. And Davis’ god-sister is another Tennessee legend, Candace Parker. Davis used to tag along to Parker’s workouts while Parker lived with the Davis family in Naperville, IL.
OVERCAME PHYSICAL CHALLENGES
While watching these two compete on the basketball court, it appears that everything in life comes naturally and easily. But Catchings and Davis both share a common disability in that both have experienced hearing loss. Davis cannot hear out of her left ear and Catchings had to wear a hearing aid as young girl. Catchings was honored in 2000 with the Reynolds Society Achievement Award by the world-famous Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston.
Catchings is the daughter of Harvey Catchings who played 11 seasons in the NBA. Davis’ father is a 17-year NBA veteran and one-time All-Star, Antonio Davis. Tamika’s sister, Tauja, played at the University of Illinois, while Kaela has a twin brother, “AJ” who is a 6-7 forward and is destined to be a Division I college basketball player himself.
ALL THEY DO IS WIN
Catchings distinguished career is highlighted by eight gold medals, four Korean League Titles, and one collegiate National Championship. Davis in her young basketball career has already won a gold medal for the 2011 USA Basketball U16 National team, two high school state championships and three AAU national championships.
When you compare their height, stature and history, the similarities between Catchings and Davis are uncanny. The comparison does not stop there either. Both players are big wings who present matchup problems anywhere on the court for their opposition. Although they could both be listed as forwards, they can play as the lead guard at times. Davis is well known for bringing the ball up the court as a point guard in critical situations just as Catchings will handle the ball when her Indiana Fever squad needs an important bucket. But where both players simply destroy their opponents is when they can work off the ball by using screens to utilize their athleticism and body control to create plays in the lane. Watching the 6-2 wings hit the three or finish at the rim is awe-striking.
Pat Summitt has landed Davis who is a consensus top-three player in the 2013 class, which makes the Lady Volunteers a title contender for years to come. Davis will be the latest edition in the lineage of great players to play in Thompson Boiling Arena. You could say that Davis has it in her blood to be great. Her father is a former NBA player. Her god-sister was Candace Parker who was a Tennessee great who helped mold Davis into the player she became. And ironically enough, Parker’s idol growing up was…none other than Tamika Catchings.