Tami Chapman grew up in Bristol in the 60s and 70s in a neighborhood that was predominately males, playing pick-up games of any sport on evenings and weekends . She also loved shooting hoops, having a catch and a round or two of golf with her Dad.
Tami attended Bristol Eastern High School from 1972-1976 under the guidance of Coach Joann Galati, where she dominated at the forward position. Chap’s team won championships during three of her four years -- one in the Central CT Interscholastic Conference and two in the Colonial Conference. She set a school record for points per game (34) and in 1975, became the first female in the city of Bristol to score 1000 points.
Tami received many honors during her high school career. In 1975, she received the Scoreboard Recognition Award for Outstanding Athletic Achievement in Conference Play. That same year she was honored by Billie Jean King with the Women’s Sports Magazine Athlete of the Year Award. Criteria for that award included outstanding contributions to team play and consistent display of good sportsmanship on and off the playing field. During her senior year, Tami was named to both the Class AA First Team All-State and Parade Magazine’s All-American Squad.
Tami’s athletic skills were not limited to the basketball court. She played varsity softball all four years and varsity volleyball during her junior and senior years. Tami was selected All League in basketball, softball and volleyball from 1973-1976. She became the first woman to hold the position of President of the Athletic Association at Bristol East High School.
Tami continued to play basketball at Mattatuck Community College from 1977-1979, where she was selected All NJCAA in basketball, softball, and volleyball. In 1978, she received All American recognition in softball . While at Mattatuck, Tami averaged 20.8 pts, 11.3 rebounds, most career points 708 , field goals, 271, free throws 117 and a single game record of 34 pts and 23 rebounds. She completed her collegiate career at East Stroudsburg State College majoring in physical education while competing in volleyball and basketball . Their volleyball team participated in the 1979 Women’s Division III Championship. The next year found Tami in Colorado Springs for the US Pan American Games softball tryouts at the US Olympic Training Center.