Dawson County High School Lady Tigers point guard Abi Chatham accepted a basketball scholarship at Covenant College and made it official by signing it in front of her friends, family and coaches March 19.
“I’ll just tell you if you’ve never been to Covenant College – it’s certainly the most beautiful college in the state of Georgia – it may be the most beautiful college in the country,” said Athletic Director Grady Turner. “I’m telling you it’s just a beautiful place and I can’t wait for her to go there.”
Covenant College is a Christian liberal arts college located at the top of Lookout Mountain, and Chatham fell in love with the scenic view and knew this is where she wanted to be.
“I just felt like it’s where God led me to choose,” said Chatham. “I sat in on some of the classes and I felt like I could really enjoy myself there.”
Chatham has been part of Dawson County athletics since middle school, when she moved from Gilmer County. She had played on park and rec teams since she was eight years old.
“(Chatham) came to us and has really worked hard to develop herself into a good point guard. I hope that Covenant College understands what they’re getting because we already know what they’re getting,” said Lady Tigers Head Coach Steve Sweat.
Assistant Principal Todd Henry mentioned during Monday’s signing that Chatham is not only a skilled athlete, but a top student as well with a 4.2 GPA.
“Covenant College is pretty lucky. Not only are they getting a standup person, they’re getting an absolute student,” said Henry. “She has excelled both in the classroom and on the court -the true definition of a student athlete.”
Through hard work and dedication, Chatham made an impact on the basketball program, with assistant coach and her teacher Anne Hyams saying she was one of the five tremendous leaders on the court this year.
“She’s a great student, a great person, she has great character,” said Hyams. “Covenant is very, very fortunate to have her. (Chatham’s) just a quality person.”
Excelling and always working to improve her skills, Chatham has played travel ball with the Georgia Metros for two years and describes it as the “best time of her life.”
“Travel ball is a lot more competitive and you get to play with a lot more skilled athletes and it’s a lot of fun because you get to travel places,” said Chatham who has traveled to Indiana, Washington D.C., Atlanta and Virginia through the team.
Though she loved her travel team, it doesn’t compare to
the relationships she’s made with the Lady Tigers.
“High school ball, you have a bond since middle school so everyone that you play with you’ve known a long time and it’s fun,” said Chatham.
Her proud grandparents, Roger and Ann Futch, who always cheered for Chatham in the stands, as well as her parents, Jeb and Rhonda, who drove her to every practice and game, sat beside their daughter as she signed to play college ball.
“I’m extremely proud of all the hard work she put in, the dedication and time… but I’m also thankful for what basketball has given her in her life: All the people that she’s gotten to meet, all the experiences, places she’s gotten to go and just the life lessons,” said Rhonda Chatham.
Chatham plans to study biology at Covenant College and become a dentist.