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Watch Former WNBA Player Tamika Catchings' Inspiring Life Story

MAKERS

ICYMI, American women are spreading some serious female power in 2017—did you see the incredible turnout and inspiring signs at the Women's March in January after the inauguration? They're standing up for what's right, making their presence known, and voicing their opinions loud and clear.

While there's been a surge his movement certainly didn't start overnight. In fact, one amazing celebration of female achievement that's been around for a few years is AOL's MAKERS platform, a collection of more than 4,500 videos and stories of 400+ women, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Lena Dunham, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Diane von Furstenberg, and #TGIT queen Shonda Rhimes. The MAKERS Conference, held in California this month, allows strong female leaders to gather and discuss issues facing women today.

One inspiring story that's making its video debut: Tamika Catchings, WNBA champion and Olympic gold medalist, who speaks out about what it was like to grow up as the sole girl holding her own on the court with the boys, why we need to raise the profile of women's basketball, and powering through life with hearing loss. It's no surprise that Catchings grew up to be a spectacular athlete—and an equally spectacular member of her community—considering her college basketball coach was the legendary Pat Summitt. "I think her goal for each one of us was, 'I'm going to create great women,'" says Catchings in the video.

And she did become a great woman: Later, Catchings was drafted third overall into WNBA, and that was after overcoming a torn ACL injury. After 11 years on the professional court, she scored a WNBA championship title, has been voted one of the Top WNBA Players of All Time, and clinched four consecutive Olympic gold medals. (And that's just the beginning of her achievements.) Plus in 2004, she started the Catch the Stars Foundation, which provides basketball camps and educational programs for underprivileged children. Her full story will seriously inspire you to take risks, be bold, and challenge whatever obstacles you think are in your way.

Catch her MAKERS video here first, then tune into the live stream on the MAKERS site to watch the full conference and all the trailblazing speakers, including Hidden Figures star Octavia Spencer, gold-medal gymnast Gabby Douglas, actress Eva Longoria, and Facebook COO and Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg.

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