Throwback Thursday: Ivana Catic

April 12, 2012

041212aab_566_2108444.jpegIvana Catic (Women’s Basketball) 2005-09
Catic came a long way to Lawrence to play for Kansas and head coach Bonnie Henrickson. The Zrenjanin, Serbia native played one year of basketball at a high school in West Virginia before committing to KU. Once the speedy 5-8 guard stepped foot on Mount Oread, she never looked back, excelling on the court and in the classroom. The three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team member helped lead Kansas to the WNIT Championship game at Allen Fieldhouse during her senior season (2008-09). Following graduation, Catic was hired by Deloitte Consulting out of Kansas City, where she works in technologies.

What have you been doing since your graduation in 2009?041212aab_566_7674717.jpeg
“Last August, I was hired by Deloitte Consulting to work in their technology practice. I’m part of their Oracle Package Technologies. I actually just started working on my second client, which is in Houston. It is an oil and gas company. My previous client was also in Houston, so I’ve been in Houston since last September. I catch the first flight Monday morning from Kansas City to Houston. Then, I live in a hotel for three nights. On Thursday night, I catch a flight back to Kansas City, and that happens every week. This is the model for how our consulting does business. This (project) may not go on for that long, but there is always going to be work to be done elsewhere. If I choose to, I can do this my entire life but being home three days a week, I don’t know if it’s fair to assume that I’ll always do that. As of right now, it’s fine and it’s fun. You get to travel and meet people.”

What led to your decision to attend KU?
“I was in high school in West Virginia for a year. I went on three visits, one of them was in Richmond, Va., one was University of Colorado at Boulder and then I came out to KU. I came out for the biggest recruiting event ever, Late Night in the Phog. Once I sat through Late Night, it was like ‘yep.’ There was no doubt in my mind that KU was the place I wanted to spend my college career, play for Coach Bonnie (Henrickson) and be part of that culture. It was obviously Bonnie and her staff. It was also the tradition, passion and the people I really liked at KU.”

What was Late Night like as a player?
“I was so nervous. That first year (2005) we did a dance to “Let’s Groove Tonight.” We had to dance in black dresses and high heels with basketballs in our hands. It was nerve-racking but it was really cool to be able to say that I did it. It was amazing and a major adrenaline rush. That’s how it was all four years. I was as excited to do it every year after that. Every year we did something different. There was also excitement around the season starting and about practice. You work out all summer, and it was finally time to show everybody that you got better. It’s definitely one of my favorite memories from KU.”

041212aab_566_7674728.jpegWhat was your favorite memory from your time here?
“It is kind of bittersweet. My last game was the WNIT championship game, where we actually sold out Allen Fieldhouse. It was the largest crowd ever for the women’s team at Allen Fieldhouse. These 16,300 people were there to see us. They weren’t there to see the men’s team. It’s was a sense of pride that we did it. We stuck together. After we lost, it was one of the toughest nights, just to sit in the locker room with your teammates, but at the same time, we had gone from being last in the conference to being in the (WNIT) championship game. Just that process of growing together with my teammates and selling out Allen Fieldhouse was probably my favorite memory of KU.”

Do you keep in touch with any former teammates now?
“Yeah, I do. I talk to Porscha Weddington a lot, Rebecca Feickert once in a while as well as Katie Smith. I try to stay in touch with all of them. We all live in different places. Rebecca is in New York, Porscha is still in Lawrence and Katie Smith is in Omaha. It’s difficult to get everybody together, but I try to stay in touch as much as possible. We really share a bond that I don’t really have with other people. Going to workouts and 6 a.m. and punishment runs are things you only go through with your teammates. It’s really a special bond I have with those girls. I just like to keep that memory alive and keep those friendships alive.”

Do you still follow the current team?
“Absolutely. Aishah (Sutherland) is the only one who I actually played with. It’s kind of scary because I’ve been out for three years now. I’m just really happy to see them go to the Sweet Sixteen. I was glad to see the team overcome Carolyn (Davis’) injury. I know they’d had some adversity in the past couple years. It was really good to see them fight, stick together, show their teeth and play for what was on the front of the jersey as opposed to what’s on the back. It was good to see them playing with the big-wigs like Tennessee and to have KU mentioned in the same breath as the Notre Dames and UCONNs. I’m really happy for the girls.”Catic on senior night

Did you make it back to any games this year?
“I made it to a few games. It’s tough to make it back with all of my travel. I made it back Alumni weekend when they played Texas A&M. Sade Morris was coming back, so I came out to see her. It was a Saturday, so it worked out well. I definitely follow the scores and stats and stay informed by reading about the team.”

What was the adjustment from Serbia to Kansas, even with playing one year of high school in West Virginia?
“It was painful. I think college is a huge transition for anybody, let alone for an international kid. My teammates really helped out. In class, the professor would be talking, and I was like ‘what was that?’ I wouldn’t understand certain words, and I didn’t understand the whole lifestyle of being in college and going to 6 a.m. workouts, and then going to class at 8:00. It was because of my teammates that I made it through those first couple months after being so homesick. Once those couple months were over, I didn’t even want to go home because I was having so much fun. It was such a blast meeting all these new people and enjoying being on campus. I really loved every second of my college career, both on and off the court.”

Catic’s Senior Season/Career Stats:

Throwback Thursday Archive:

Catic with her boyfriend BrianCatic playing in the 2009 WNIT Championship vs. South Florida