BASKETBALL: Abby Dalton looking to light it up at Georgia Northwestern

Recent Gordon Lee High School graduate Abby Dalton (seated, center) signed her letter of intent on Tuesday to play basketball for Georgia Northwestern. Also on hand for the ceremony was Brad and Candi Dalton. On the back row was Gordon Lee girls’ basketball coach Kevin McElhaney, GNTC head coach David Stephenson and Hailey Dalton. (Photo by Scott Herpst)

Even before she was in first grade, Abby Dalton played basketball.

Throughout the recreation leagues, middle school and high school, Dalton has spent countless hours on the court and she sees no reason to let a little thing like graduation end her hoops career.

The recent Gordon Lee graduate will indeed take her game to the next level as she signed a letter of intent to play for the Lady Bobcats of Georgia Northwestern on Tuesday morning.

"Abby is such a great young lady," Gordon Lee head coach Kevin McElhaney said. "She's a super, super kid as far as work ethic and desire and she's a really good player who can shoot the lights out. We've depended on her a lot these past couple of years to really be able to score and she's done that. She has one of the best pure shots that you'll ever see.

"We're really excited for her that she will get to continue playing because we know how much she loves the game. Her love and passion for the game, that's what really draws you to her."

A four-year letter-winner with the Lady Trojans, Dalton led her team in 3-pointers this past season, ending her senior year by averaging 10.9 points and 3.1 rebounds to earn All-Catoosa-Walker County first team status.

"This day means a lot," she said. "I've been wanting to play basketball, so this is really a dream come true for me, especially getting a chance to play college basketball. I'm excited to bring it to the next level."

Gordon Lee qualified for the Class 1A public school state playoffs this past season, advancing to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2013.

"I hope I can bring a lot to the team," she added. "I'm a big competitor and I love to compete. I like (GNTC) because it's a small school and a smaller campus. I'm sure everybody knows everybody there the way it is (at Gordon Lee). I haven't gotten to meet the team yet, but I've played against some of them in the past and I'm excited to get to play with them now."

"They are getting a great student and just a great young lady that is going to do what she's supposed to do, when she's supposed to do it and how she's supposed to do it," McElhaney continued. "Sometimes you have to ask people to do things, but not her. She does it on her own and she knows what's expected. She gives 110 percent each and every time she walks on the floor, whether it's a practice or a game.

"She made my job a whole lot easier because she was really a silent leader and I think you've got to have those. She didn't have to be vocal. People just watched her and gravitated toward her and what she did. She led the team that way."

Lady Bobcats head coach David Stephenson said he was getting another "steal".

"She's a great shooter and she's got a tough attitude, which is something we seem to be getting a lot of this year," he explained. "We can put her at the point or at the two-guard and she gives us another scorer. She will help us, especially since we're losing some of those players that put the ball in the hole for us last year. She's super excited to get to play and we're super excited to get her."

Dalton said she wants to take her core classes at Georgia Northwestern and go on to major in sports journalism.