The University of North Georgia athletic department will induct four individuals into the Athletics Hall of Fame at a luncheon today. Among those four is Dawson County High School history teacher and assistant girls basketball coach Anne Hyams.
“Each year, we have the opportunity to pay tribute to the finest student-athletes and coaches in North Georgia’s history,” North Georgia athletics director Lindsay Reeves said. “We are proud to honor the 2013 Hall of Fame class for their achievements in athletics and in the community, and for being great ambassadors of this university.”
Hyams started her college basketball career at Northwestern and the University of Georgia before transferring in the late 1980s to North Georgia.
During her time as a player she accrued many awards, such as being named NAIA All-American both years at North Georgia, earning First-and Third-Team honors and winning the James A. Naismith Award for the Most Outstanding Women’s Basketball Player in Georgia twice, among others.
Hyams ended her career at the school as part of the 1,000 point club.
She credits the awards to her parents and “many, many, many hours practicing” at her backyard goal as a child.
“My parents wouldn’t let us stay inside and watch TV,” Hyams said. “They wanted us outside playing, so I just went out and just for something to do, just shot baskets constantly as a kid.”
Hyams said she started playing basketball competitively in fifth grade. Her parents signed her up for recreation basketball and she “immediately fell in love with the game.”
She said she enjoyed the team aspect and competitive nature of the game the most.
Hyams moved to Dawson County three years ago, where she is the coach for the Dawson County junior varsity girls basketball team, as well as the assistant coach for the varsity girls team. She also teaches history and economics at the high school.
“My first coaching experiences are here in Dawson County,” said Hyams. “I have three kids and they were always involved in sports. Now that they are all in college, I have the time to stay after school and coach.”
She said that in order to coach a player successfully, that player has to show certain qualities before they can learn techniques.
“There are various aspects of the game —basic fundamentals and form. A lot of the good qualities of ball players are natural,” Hyams said. “You can’t teach strong work ethic, heart, passion and drive. It’s only when a player comes with those qualities that you can pass on techniques and form.”
Dawson County varsity coach Steve Sweat said that Hyams did more for him and the girls than she would ever admit.
“She does a great job. The example she sets and the way she relates to these kids is really great,” Sweat said.
“For me, she takes on a lot of stuff that I would normally have to do so I don’t have to worry about it, especially on game days.”
Hyams said she was very surprised to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“I was surprised and honored. I felt very humbled and grateful to have my name associated with the University of North Georgia. It’s a great honor for me.”
Hyams’ induction at the Hall of Fame Luncheon will be at 11:30 a.m. today.