By Tia Nielsen and Lael Nielsen
How did you honor your father on Father’s Day? Katie Douglas, former Perry Meridian and Purdue basketball standout, faced a painful memory on Father’s Day weekend: the anniversary of her father’s death to cancer. It also closely coincided with the same sad anniversary of her mother’s passing.
So, Katie did what her parents asked her to do.
The two-time WNBA All-Star, now headlining for the Indiana Fever, focused her attention on the task at hand June 21 to fuel a decisive victory over the Detroit Shock, the reigning WNBA champion. Her parents message to Katie? “Carry on.”
Carry on she did. Much to the Shock’s dismay.
» Career Numbers
3,200 • Points
988 • Rebounds
657 • Assists
406 • Steals
79.5% • Freethrow percentage
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As each parent faced leaving this life, they challenged Katie and her three siblings to carry on. “Don’t let your life spiral (downward),” said Katie in an exclusive pre-game interview. “They wanted something good to come out of it.”
For now, that is excelling in a game that is being honed by her contributions to women’s professional basketball. Katie’s focused mindset prepares her to face each game, the fluidity of the team roster, and life with unusual toughness for a 30-year-old.
Katie’s mind is made up that she will make things work out for the best. When teammates are waived and new ones join the team, Douglas decides, “We’re going to make it work.” We treat the group here today like they’ll be here all season. “These are the people we’re going to battle with.”
Katie affirms that team chemistry is part of on-court success. “It’s a huge factor.” With teams changing roster members for any reason, Douglas said, “As an athlete, we don’t concern ourselves with what we can’t control.” We focus on what we can control — and that is how we play basketball.
With an emotion-laden weekend, Douglas made sure she contributed fully to what was in her control.
The Indiana Fever beat the Detroit Shock for the second time in three nights, 82-70.
Fierce and competitive, the first quarter kept the teams fairly even, swinging the lead back and forth six times. Two pivotal points turned the game. First: with the Fever trailing 38-37 in the second quarter, Detroit went on a 16-0 run from 3:36 of second quarter to the 6:53 mark of the third quarter.
Second: Fever coach Linn Dunn called a time out at that point for her beleaguered team, now trailing 54-37. The result? The Fever defensive pressure turned up immediately. Smothering their opponents over the course of the next 16 minutes, they outscored the Shock 40-8. Allowing only one basket in the first nine minutes of the fourth quarter, the Fever went up 77-62. Maintaining that intensity, the Fever wrapped it up at 82-70.
This hearty team effort was lead by Douglas, with 17 second-half points and 23 overall. Perennial fan favorite Tamika Catchings chimed in for 15, while Tammy Sutton-Brown added 13 points. The Fever held Detroit to 31 percent shooting in the second half while the Fever shot 55.6 percent, with points coming from eight players.
This moves the Indiana Fever to 4-2 on the season. They are only one-half game behind Washington in the Eastern Conference with the next home game on Saturday, June 27, against the New York Liberty at 7 p.m.
The take-home for Katie Douglas? Chalk one up for honor. This one’s for you, Dad.
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