Dalton High School's Emma Hefner was proud that her hustle and hard work were recognized after her very first varsity basketball game.
"Coach (Hannah) Harris gives recognition to the player that shows the most hustle during a game," the guard said. "I was the first player to receive the 'hard hat' award this past season. It was really nice to receive it considering I was a freshman."
Hefner also brings that same hustle to the track and field squad at Dalton, where she competes in sprint, relay and triple jump events.
Hefner answered a variety of questions about her life on and off of the court, track and field.
Question: Why did you decide to compete in each of your sports?
Answer: I have always enjoyed playing basketball since I first started in second grade. My father has always had a love for basketball and he carried the love over to me. And it wasn’t until sixth grade that I found a natural love and talent for triple jump.
Q: Do you have a favorite between the two sports?
A: I like them both for different reasons. Basketball is very fast paced and team-oriented, whereas track is more individualized. Both have their own competitive aspects. Participating in these sports has made me a better athlete.
Q: What's your favorite memory so far in high school outside of sports?
A: Despite it being an unusual year, I was still able to enjoy and appreciate being able to live the high school experience.
Q: How would you describe yourself outside of sports?
A: I am a very loving and caring person. I thank God for my family, for who I am and for the opportunities that I have. I take school seriously and always try my best in everything I do. I love my friends and family. In my spare time, I love to hang out with my family and friends and I love, love, love to travel.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about the upcoming seasons in each of your sports?
A: For this upcoming season in basketball, I would like to help my team to make it to the 6A state playoffs and possibly even win. My personal goal in track is to continue to beat my personal record in triple jump and compete in the hurdles for the first time. All this while trying to maintain a 4.0 GPA.
Q: What are your plans for after high school, if you have any yet?
A: I would like to see myself continuing to compete at the next level in either sport. I would also like to study abroad in Germany.
Q: Who is someone that you look up to?
A: My father because he has always been someone that I can call a role model. He is someone that I can depend on and someone who pushes me to be the best I can be.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: My favorite movie is "Pearl Harbor." A great movie with romance and history.
Q: Who is your favorite professional athlete?
A: My favorite professional athlete is (Dallas Mavericks guard) Luka Dončić because he is a successful basketball player and he is very attractive.
Q: What’s your favorite app on your smartphone?
A: My favorite app on my phone is Snapchat because I can talk to all of my friends!
To submit an athlete for consideration for this Q&A series, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.