May 13, 2016

(AP) - Tamika Catchings relishes every moment she has left on the court.

The Indiana Fever's longtime franchise player still isn't sure how she'll feel during her final season opener Saturday night against the Dallas Wings.

Each moment, however, will carve out a special place in Catchings' 15th and final WNBA chapter.

''I take photos of everything, so at the end there will probably be a photo album,'' said Catchings, who led the Fever (20-14) to the WNBA Finals last season before losing in five games to Minnesota. ''You know I always try to be in the moment, but it's hard to be in the moment sometimes.''

Fans will be there to watch Catchings close out a career that includes a rookie of the year award, 10 All-Star appearances, five WNBA defensive player of the year awards, one MVP trophy, one WNBA title and the 2012 Finals MVP honors.

''There have been a lot of great players in the WNBA, but I'm not sure there's been a more well-rounded player than Tamika,'' coach Stephanie White said. ''The way she lives her life, the way she's embraced young people is hard to put into words. I'll put it this way: There are very few players you play against that you want to hug right after the game.''

After passing the captain's torch to Erlana Larkins and Briann January, the 36-year-old Catchings is likely to log fewer minutes in part because she decided to spend the midseason Olympic break chasing a fourth gold medal.

But the league's active leader in scoring (6,947), rebounds (3,153) and steals (1,012) also understands she'll be the feature attraction everywhere she goes.

''I am trying to soak up every single moment we have together,'' she said. ''Even through training camp and making sure we're doing all the things we're supposed to be doing, and I'm doing as much as I can, soak in the good times and the bad times. It's going to be really special.''

It figures to also be a special season for the Wings, who will become the first WNBA team to play in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Plenette Pierson has now been part of all three versions of the three-time WNBA champion franchise.

Pierson, who has played in the league 13 years, has two championship rings from her five seasons with the Detroit Shock (2005-09). She was an All-Star for the first time last season when she rejoined the franchise for its final year in Tulsa.

''This is the best market, I think, for the WNBA,'' said Pierson, a Texas native who played at Texas Tech. ''Just expanding our brand, we want this league to be sustainable, and I think being in Dallas makes this league sustainable.''

The Detroit Shock were one of the WNBA's first expansion teams in 1998, and won league titles in 2003, 2006 and 2008. After the Shock moved to Tulsa in 2010, they didn't make the playoffs again until last season.

''An expansion team, you're taking players who pretty much have one or two feet out of the door and you've still got to go play with them for that first year,'' coach Fred Williams said. ''With a team that is moving, you pretty much have the same players in place. You get some pieces and parts and put them together. We're basically the same team.''

The Shock (18-16) made the postseason in 2015 with their only winning record during a six-season run in Tulsa. They were swept by Phoenix in the first round.

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