Tamika Catchings named Indiana Fever VP of Basketball Operations, Allison Barber named president, COO

Photo Credit: Mickey Shuey/Indianapolis Business Journal

A few days ago, the Indiana Fever began teasing that some huge news was on the way.

With this being the 20th season of the Indiana Fever, one had to know that the team, with its storied history being in a basketball state was going to go all in for its 20th rendition.

That is exactly what the Fever did. They had a couple of big announcements at the front office level with the announcement that Tamika Catchings would be named Vice President of Basketball Operations.

We have many, many more years to go. And my job, my role, and just being here – I want to help us continue to operate at such a high level. So, I’m excited about working with this team and continue to work with this team and we’re going to win another championship. We are going to win another championship.

–Tamika Catchings (at Fever press conference)

She assumes her new role after serving as Director of Player Programs and Franchise Development with Pacers Sports & Entertainment. She is also a co-chair of the organizing committee board of directors for Indianapolis 2021 NBA All-Star.

The Fever were not finished – not by a long shot.

With Kelly Krauskopf leaving the Fever end of things while still remaining within Pacers Sports & Entertainment as the Pacers’ assistant general manager, that left Krauskopf’s former role – President and Chief Operating Officer – available.

Indiana announced it has tapped Dr. Allison Barber for that role. She is only the second person ever to lead the Fever. Barber was at the introductory press conference with Catchings, Fever head coach Pokey Chatman, and Pacers Sports & Entertainment President and COO Rick Fuson.

Allison’s proven experience includes remarkable success in marketing and communications at the highest levels of business, education and government in our city and state, which will serve as a great benefit to our organization and our loyal fans.

–Rick Fuson, President and COO, Pacers Sports and Entertainment (per press release)

Barber’s extensive resume includes working as the president of Western Governors University Advancement. She also once was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and Special Detail to the Office of Global Communications in the White House. Barber also serves on the board of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

When I moved home to Indiana…eight years ago, a reporter from the Indy Star said to me, what’s the best piece of leadership advice you’ve ever received? And without thinking twice, I said, ‘Take it to the hoop.’ And it’s the advice my dad gave to me when we would play basketball in our driveway in Northwest Indiana.

–Allison Barber, President and COO, Indiana Fever

Barber said at the introductory presser that her decision to accept the new role with the Fever came down to one word – passion.

I realize how passionate I am about our city and state and what a franchise that is so strong and so committed, and really passionate about good basketball – and I do love this sport. But not just what we can do on the court, but what we can do in the communities and the impact we can make there.

–Allison Barber, President and COO, Indiana Fever

With the plethora of news and changes surrounding the Fever, there could be a wave of excitement in the air where it may make Fever fans wish May 24 was tomorrow. That, of course, is when the Fever open the season on the road at Westchester County Center to take on the New York Liberty.

(Allison)’s an educator. Teachers are leaders. Coaches love teachers. And I go down the table to Tamika Catchings. When she was leading, she didn’t know she was also teaching. And now, she’s not just impacting the community, the country, the state, our businesses. I watch her impact this place when the cameras were not rolling.

–Pokey Chatman

If you could feel the excitement in this room – we were supposed to meet for 15 minutes – we’re ready to tip it off right now.

–Pokey Chatman

Not only were the Fever announcing new hires, but in anticipation of their 20th season, the organization announced that Indiana’s 20th rendition will be “All for Love.”

Why do they get up early? Why do they sacrifice? Why do they work hard? They do it because they love the game. And I love this game too.

–Allison Barber, President and COO, Indiana Fever

We’re going to ask leaders from all over the city and state to help us promote why they do their craft. Why do they go to work every day? What do they love, and why are they willing to sacrifice all that they can to do what they love – just like our Fever players do.

–Allison Barber, President and COO, Indiana Fever

The Fever also announced that a slew of community events will accompany the campaign. Those events will be announced at a later date.

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