Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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Westside

May 14, 2013

Fever focused on repeat

(Continued)

INDIANAPOLIS —

“I’ve lost three times, I’ve been in that position where I’ve lost and I know that feeling fuels you and motivates and burns inside your stomach throughout the next season,” Douglas said. “This team isn’t satisfied with winning one championship. We’re hungry and greedy and I think both of those proponents are present here in camp.”

Douglas will be returning from an ankle injury that sidelined her last season, but she won’t be returning to an unfamiliar locker room. The Fever return 10 of 11 members from last year’s WNBA championship team and it’s just the right mixture for another run at a title.

“We’ve got our core intact with a great blend of players,” Douglas said. “We have a great mixture of ages and experience and I hope that has built our team to last for a few more seasons and a few more long runs.”

For the first time in her 12 year career, Tamika Catchings did not have to answer the same question that plagues some of the greatest to ever play their respective sport; ‘Is this finally the year you win a WNBA championship?’ A national champion at Tennessee and an Olympic gold medalist, Catchings can finally add WNBA champion to her list of accomplishments.

The upbeat veteran was playful with teammates at media day laughing and having fun. It was obvious the pressure was clearly absent but the desire, however, hasn’t faded.

Catchings wants more championships and a lack of respect and appreciation from the rest of the WNBA is a driving force to win more. Contrary to her coach and teammates’ beliefs, Catchings feels somewhat slighted and taken lightly.

“People underestimate us. I didn’t feel like there was a target on our back last year and even coming into this year I don’t feel like there is a target on our back,” Catchings said. “It wasn’t like I felt pressure before but every year we sit at this same table and I’m asked the same question, if this is the year. After we won, I feel like people were shocked and they’re not talking about us and I like that. I like being the underdog.”

The Fever’s home opener is Friday, May 31 and they will raise their championship banner during the ring ceremony. Every fan in attendance will receive a replica championship ring kicking off the season as the Fever try to repeat.

“It’s going to be fun,” Catchings said. “Everybody has an extra pep in their step this season. We are going to go out and have a lot of fun.

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