Verbally committing to the University of North Georgia is an exciting reality for Dawson County High School basketball player and rising senior Ashley Parker.
"It's a dream come true, really," Parker said. "I've wanted to go there since middle school."
With her dad's help, Parker began her basketball career when she was 9.
"My dad has been an inspiration for me," she said.
Her favorite thing about the game is just playing and getting out there. Parker said she enjoys coming to practice because it is another opportunity to get better.
"You don't have to give her a pep talk to get her ready to play," Dawson County High School Assistant Coach Anne Hyams said. "She always does her best, is very determined and is a hard worker."
Parker was approached with the verbal offer to attend UNG after helping out at a youth summer camp at the Dahlonega campus. She will officially sign in November.
With the decision of colleges out of the way, Parker can focus more on her academics and basketball for her last year of high school. Another school she had considered was Young Harris.
Parker, who wants to major in physical therapy, is excited about being able to play basketball for the university.
But before she leaves Dawson High, Parker plans to score more points this season, with the goal of reaching the 1,000 point club for the school.
"I'll score my 1,000 point this year," she said. "I only have a 190 more to go."
Dawson County High School Head Coach Steve Sweat is thrilled that Parker gets to go to a school that she has wanted to since she was little, but he is also happy that he gets one more year with the outstanding athlete.
"Ashley is very deserving," he said. "She has worked really hard and will be a good player for North Georgia because of her dedication and hard work."