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Pat Summitt, Catchings‘ coach at Tennessee, said the forward is an MVP in every way.

“She totally symbolizes every aspect of what a most valuable player should be through her leadership and everyday excellence on the court,” Summitt said. “I am, and always have been, extremely proud of how Tamika goes about her business. I have been fortunate to coach a lot of great players but there has always been a ‘specialness’ between Catch and I because she is so real.”

Even as Catchings was humbled and thankful for the award, she focused on Atlanta.

“I don’t know why this year was my year, but I’m going to take it in stride and keep it moving and finish this journey off,” she said shortly before the Fever faced the Dream in Game 1 of the conference finals.

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cliffbruntap