Tamara Tatham’s Love for Hoops
Standing 6 ft. 1 with gorgeous ebony skin, a winning smile and distinctive facial features, Tamara Tatham could be a top model. She doesn’t work the runway, however; she works the court. The basketball court, to be precise. The Canadian-born pro-athlete has been playing professional basketball for the past eight years; a career path she credits to the cajoling of her parents.
“I began playing basketball at the age of 13, right around the time I started junior high. My parents were actually the ones who pushed me toward it, because initially I never really wanted to play basketball.” She added, with a laugh, “Once I started, I realized I absolutely loved it, so it’s a good thing they did.”
Tatham was raised in Malvern, Toronto; a community with a heavy presence of Caribbean nationals, and not without its challenges. Despite this, she fondly recalls her childhood.
“Growing up in Malvern was a pretty good experience. We (my family) lived in Metro Housing, so there were many other families living there and lots of other kids to play with. We used to play games on the streets. All my closest friends are from Malvern.”
Growing up in a “like Mike” generation, when the focus and spotlight was on male basketball players, Tatham does not feel as though her gender held her back from going pro. “I was fortunate because I was able to get scouted and obtain a full athletic scholarship to the University of Massachusetts. From there, I went on to play professionally overseas. And I was blessed to have a strong support system. My family, friends and coaches have all been very supportive over the years.”
The highlight of Tatham’s career came in 2012, when her team, the Canadian Women’s National Basketball Team, qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She shared, “The best part was that we qualified on Canada Day, so that was a big accomplishment for us. It felt almost surreal, but it was an amazing experience. Even though we placed 8th, we played well, and we definitely played as a team.”
Next, Tatham, along with the rest of Canada’s female basketball team, can be seen at the 2015 Pan American Games, where they hope to obtain a medal. “We’d love to get that medal, but our main focus is to play better,” she said. “There will be a lot of passion, and good team work. We’re happy to be able to represent our country in front of our fans.”