Photo: Brian Kamer Brookwood Tipoff Club President - Becky Walker
Becky Walker is serving her second year as president of the Brookwood High School Tipoff Club, which keeps her busy throughout the year and at this week's Deep South Classic.
Walker, a 1976 South Gwinnett grad, has spent the past 25 years as a nurse at Eastside Medical Center in Snellville. The North Georgia graduate and her husband John have three children - Seth, Ross and Rebecca, a junior on the Broncos' girls basketball team.
In this installment of "Getting to Know ... ", Walker talks with sports editor Will Hammock about her two jobs, converting from a South to a Brookwood supporter and her love of basketball.
WH: What's it like being a South Gwinnett person over at Brookwood? Do you think of yourself as a South Gwinnett person anymore?
BW: I did for awhile. But after my middle son started playing football for Brookwood and I was still sitting on the South Gwinnett side, he said, 'Mom, it's time for you to move over to Brookwood.' It was real hard for me to say 'Go Broncos' but I've finally gotten around to that point.
WH: What was South like back then? Things were different back in the 70s?
BW: It's very different. It's grown to a tremendous size. Back then it was a very small school and the kids came from everywhere, from Rockbridge Road to Grayson. It was all one school.
WH: What was there to do in Snellville back when you were in high school?
BW: There was one traffic light. We rode around the parking lot. There was a Dairy Queen downtown. We would just circle around town and go to Dairy Queen. There was a movie theater downtown, so we did get to go to movies.
WH: Do you have fond memories of high school?
BW: I loved high school. I was on drill team. Those were just good days, fun times. I loved high school.
WH: Did you always know you wanted to be a nurse?
BW: No. I really don't know how that came into being. I started out in college as a business major and then I changed and went to criminal justice and then I went to nursing. So talk about a 360. I don't know how it happened.
WH: What was it about nursing that made you pick that major?
BW: I don't really know. But I love it. I've never been sorry I did that. I love my job now. I love working with the patients. I can't see myself doing anything different.
WH: You've been at Eastside so long, what's the neatest part of being in a place like that for so many years?
BW: I love it when people come in that I went to high school with and you get to rehash some memories and see their families. You get to take extra special care of them. And it makes them feel better that they know somebody who's there taking care of them. I like that.
WH: What made you want to be the Tipoff Club president? You're plenty busy with your regular job already.
BW: I love the basketball program at Brookwood. My son was there, he graduated in 2002 and he played basketball. So I dabbled in it then just a little bit. When Coach (Scott) Terry talked to me about doing this, I felt like I could make the time to do it. I had been in Snellville for a long time so I knew a lot of the business people in Snellville, so I thought that might help. I just really enjoy doing it.
WH: What are the fun parts and the challenging parts?
BW: The fun parts are going out to the businesses and trying to get them to support Brookwood, and doing things for the kids like team dinners. Just making sure they have everything that the coaches want them to have for the program. Getting to meet all the parents is great.
WH: What's the hardest part? When businesses say no?
BW: I haven't had a lot say no fortunately. The financial end of it is to me the hardest part, helping people realize that when your kid gets to high school it's not free. Most people think when they play in high school, it's free, your taxes pay for it. They don't and it needs to be supplemented. That's the hard part.
WH: What's it going to be like when Rebecca stops playing?
BW: It's going to be very sad. That's one of my hobbies, I love to watch girls basketball. She plays on a travel team, so she pretty much plays year-round. We love traveling during the summer and watching her play.
WH: What was it like for you having two boys and having a daughter come along?
BW: I always wanted a little girl. The two boys came and it was great. Then Rebecca came along eight years later. We were surprised and very excited that she was a girl.
I'm finding it's totally different with a girl. Totally different.
WH: Outside of nursing and the Tipoff Club, what do you do for fun?
BW: Watching basketball games. I love to go to basketball games. We had tickets up until last year to Georgia, so we'd go there and watch. I love to surf the Internet. I love to shop.
WH: What websites do you have to hit? What are your favorites? Besides gwinnettdailypost.com?
BW: I do like that one. We get the paper, so that's the first thing I do every morning is read the paper. I go from my email to Facebook all the time.
WH: Facebook can keep you busy for awhile.
BW: I love reading Facebook. I don't put that much on there but I like to read about everybody and their families.
WH: What's your ideal meal?
BW: Probably at Carrabba's. Chicken marsala with fettucini alfredo.
WH: How did you and your husband meet? Did you have a class together in college at North Georgia?
BW: We didn't have a class together. I had some friends, they knew I was looking for somebody tall and he's 6-6. I was 5-9. Back then that was pretty tall for a girl. So they said, 'He's tall. You'll like him.' They got us together and we dated on again, off again. Then we got back together.
WH: What was your first date?
BW: It was at a hamburger place in Gainesville. We had mushroom burgers.
WH: How long are you going to keep going with Tipoff Club duties? Are you staying on next season?
BW: If they keep me, I'll do it another year. I want to keep things going. I think it's going really well right now. I want to keep things going in a positive direction. I think I've got a lot of it down pat to where somebody else coming in, maybe next year, I can help them get going and ease my way out.
WH: What's Deep South Classic week like for you? Is it more stressful than a normal week for you?
BW: I just try to be there. Any problems that come up, I try to take care of those. Paul Hannah does a great job with the Deep South Classic (as tournament director), but any problems or any time somebody doesn't show up for something I try to be there. Or if a coach needs something, I try to be there to help.