After the Lights is a web series which examines the post-basketball careers of former Fever players and coaches.
Katie Douglas has a new career. To celebrate the anniversary of her franchise-changing trade to the Fever on Feb. 19, 2008, I caught up with her for a short Q&A about her newest adventure. She is working day and night these days while opening Orangetheory Fitness in Greenwood. The Orangetheory brand presents a new trend in fitness training, designed to give participants an optimal amount of time in the “orange zone,” thus maximizing the efficiency of a condensed, hour-long workout.
To date, her new Greenwood-area franchise is operating a membership office at Meridian and Smith Valley Road, adjacent to the site of a new, permanent training facility that is currently under construction. A grand opening is scheduled for April. As a public service announcement for a great Fever champion and WNBA All-Star, I can share with Southsiders and Indianapolis sports fans that founding memberships come with deeply discounted rates! Founding members also will be privy to complimentary classes during a two-week preview prior to the grand opening.
Douglas, a shooting guard who starred with the Fever for six seasons from 2008 to 2013, enjoyed a 14-year career in the WNBA between Orlando/Connecticut and Indiana. Drafted by the Orlando Miracle, she moved with the franchise to Connecticut and helped the Sun to a pair of WNBA Finals appearances. Originally from Indiana though, and a graduate of Perry Meridian High School before a national championship career at nearby Purdue, she helped foster a trade that brought her back to her roots. Upon arriving with the Fever, she and Tamika Catchings helped guide the franchise to its first Finals appearance in 2009, and then a WNBA championship in 2012. She played a final season with Indiana in 2013 before finishing her career with one final season in Connecticut.
Back on Indianapolis’ southside again and with her membership drive in full swing, she talked about her basketball career in a phone interview from her new office. I asked, for instance, who she keeps in touch with from among former Fever teammates. She instantly rattled off a lengthy list of names from Indiana’s Finals teams in 2009 and 2012.
Here is the interview:
The memories you share, you can never break those and the bonds they created.
What are a couple of top memories that might stick out from your career with the Fever?
Obviously, getting traded there sticks out personally for me, in 2008, having that finally come to fruition. It was an opportunity I had dreamed of since being drafted in the WNBA. The first game there, playing in front of family and friends, was special. Winning the championship in 2012 was special, there aren’t many memories that can top that. That entire playoff run was memorable, continuing to see people rally behind us and seeing the support from our community. Seeing Bankers Life Fieldhouse sold out during that series was unbelievable, and I think the 2009 Finals series with Phoenix definitely sticks out as well.
Do you have recollection of any specific individual moments, like your *scoring record in 2009? * Fever Single-Game Scoring Record: Katie Douglas, 34 points vs. Mystics, July, 28, 2009
You know, when you first emailed me that question, I thought, ‘What is he talking about?’ I kind of vaguely remember you telling me that in whatever season that was. But, to me, the personal accolades are nice, but I tend to remember the championships, the memories, the friendships, the lifelong bonds with my teammates. Looking back, I do remember those two games (including 32 vs. Connecticut two nights later) and I just remember being in a rhythym. I remember throwing it any which way and it going in. it’s kind of nice as a player to have that vibe, but to me, I just remember the friendships and the larger memories. I guess that’s just how I roll.
With which of your former teammates do you keep in touch?
I keep in close contact with Tamika. She’s obviously a lifelong friend. You know, we knew each other, at first, as fierce competitors. But once I came to the Fever, she put her arm around me and we became lifelong friends. I keep in contact with Erin Phillips, Jeanette Pohlen, Shavonte Zellous, Erlana Larkins, Tammy Sutton-Brown, Jessica Moore, Ebony Hoffman, Jessica Davenport, Briann January… in fact I texted with Bri just last week. I might be a social butterfly. I truly keep in touch with these girls just because we had so many incredible memories. The memories you share, you can never break those and the bonds they created. We’re all in different places in our lives and careers, but we still check in with one another. Honestly, we all genuinely care about one another.
Almost all of your entire basketball life has been rooted here in Indiana. Can you identify some of your top basketball memories?
Purdue in 1999 was an awesome memory, winning a national championship. I still remember throwing the ball as high as I could, in the air, after we won. Somehow, I was fortunate to be the one to have the ball at the last second. So that was extremely exciting. Signing with Purdue [after high school], that was an incredible experience after going through the entire recruiting process. Then getting drafted and going into the WNBA, and obviously winning a WNBA championship here. There have been so many memories, so many people and so many friendships.
What was your motivation to begin the fitness business?
I finally found what I’m passionate about. I’m passionate about fitness, and I’m passionate about transforming minds and making an impact on people’s lives, and helping people achieve their fitness goals. The Orangetheory workouts are a 60-minute, heart-rate based workout – half cardio and endurance, and half strength and power. All four of those components are packaged into one hour. It’s an awesome idea and an awesome way to get people to come and get all those components and see results. We’re a results-driven fitness franchise. We don’t just talk about it, we are all about it. We work with you and we show you the results. The Orangetheory process intrigued me. I hadn’t seen this approach before.
I finally found what I’m passionate about. I’m passionate about fitness, and I’m passionate about transforming minds and making an impact on people’s lives.
And also, my parents were business owners. It’s probably a little in my DNA and my blood. The opportunity just seemed to check all the boxes I was looking for post-basketball. I love seeing the stories, watching people come into Orangetheory and walk out doing mini-marathons. There are a lot of those stories around the country and I look forward to seeing some of the same here in Greenwood. My parents, being entrepreneurs, probably helped lead me down this path. The path led me back to Greenwood. I’m a Southsider. Everything seems to always come to the north side in Indy, so I wanted to start something I was passionate about and bring it to the south side of Indy. I look forward to helping people begin their Orangetheory journeys and realize their Orangetheory dreams.
Where did the Orangetheory name come from?
It is the theory behind it. We’re science based. The franchise was created in Florida, I’m not sure if that had anything to do with it. But orange is a strong color. What our science says, is that if you stay 12 to 20 minutes in the “orange zone” (84 percent of your maximum heart rate), during a continuous 60-minute workout, you’re going to experience after-burn which ignites your metabolism. We’re going to ping-pong you back and forth between five heart-rate zones that we train in, and during that 60-minute period, you’re going to spend 12 to 20 minutes, cumulative not consecutive, in the orange zone. By doing that, you’re going to be burning calories even after your workout for a period of 24-36 hours. So that is the goal we’re after.
What were some of the obstacles in starting this business?
Space was our first issue. Greenwood is an established, highly developed city, unlike other communities that might have undeveloped land available. I wanted to be sure we found the right location. I listened to a lot of friends, a lot of family and a lot of strangers trying to determine what would be a good place, both convenient and beneficial to growing the business. There was a lot of thought that went in to picking our space at Smith Valley and SR-135 (Meridian). That was a challenge and there are different challenges every day. That’s what makes my job as a business owner very exciting. We’re building right now and set to open in April. It’s just like playing basketball. You have to show up to the gym and sometimes there are challenges, like when someone gets hurt, or you’re not feeling that good. You have to rise above those. Finding the perfect location was challenging, but there are always different hiccups and bumps in the road. Like I will be tonight, sometimes I am here until 10:00, and I still can’t believe that. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me, ‘you’re not a basketball player any more, welcome to the world of running your own business!’
You’re going to be burning calories even after your workout for a period of 24-36 hours. So that is the goal we’re after.
Douglas’ Orangetheory Fitness franchise can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The membership office is open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 5. The OTFGreenwood website can be found at greenwood.orangetheoryfitness.com.