On the basketball court Norma Faison was known for her ability to put the ball in the hoop. She was a prolific scorer for both Lyons Senior High and Armstrong State College.
“I played for the legendary coach Jacky Jones and he was like a second dad to me,” Norma said. “I made the team as a freshman. I played for him for four years. My freshman and sophomore year we were pretty decent, but after some of those bigger girls left it kind of went down hill. I managed to kind of stand out and I got noticed by several colleges, but I didn’t want to leave and go away from home to far, so I chose to go to Armstrong.”
While playing for the Lady Bulldogs Faison had the green light to do what she did best- to shoot the basketball.
“I was really an offensive player, I played defense, but I was the one that coach would say get the ball to her. I was one of those people, I was the go-to person. I loved the game. I could shoot it and I had an eye for the hoop. I made my way to the basket or I could shoot the outside shot. I have to say I was blessed with a great talent. I was a basketball player.”
Norma developed her basketball skills playing pick up games with her family and against boys.
“I came from an athletic family. Mom and Dad both were athletic. My aunts were athletic and I had four brothers and two sisters. My brothers were very athletic. We always played in the backyard. I was one of those who they were going to pick their sister to play with them. I played with the guys down at the park. The girls played against the guys. I was pretty much a natural when it came to the game.”
Most high school basketball players are lucky to make 60% of their free throws. Norma was different. She sank her free shots in high school and in her college career she made 81% of her free throws in the 198-85 season ranking fourth in Armstrong history.
Free Throw % (Min. 2 FT/ GM)
1. Tyler Carlson, 13-14…… .849 (79-93)
2. Shermika Harris, 14-15. .826 (90-109)
3. Dartayvia Thomas, 08-09 .825 (94-114)
4. Norma Faison, 84-85….. .810 (85-105)
5. Arpine Amirkhanyan, 10-11 .808 (80-99)
6. Dee Hayward, 14-15….. .805 (99-123)
7. Brigitta Barta, 13-14…… .796 (86-108)
8. Lexie Martin, 00-01 ……. .789 (71-90)
9. Tishay Lewis, 02-03 …… .788 (149-189)
10. Mauri Wells, 11-12 …….. .782 (79-101)
“It was something that I worked on basically in high school. Before we could leave coach would make us put up so many free throws. It was something we had to do. We worked hard at it. Yes, I was very good when it came to shooting the free throws. I was one of the ones if there was a free throw to be shot, even in high school, I was the one to shoot it. In college, coach had me up against Berry College- a team we had not beaten in years- we needed that one free throw. It was a technical and she chose me. I shot it and we won the game. I worked hard at the game and I loved the game.”
In a span of 15 days in 1985 Norma had three games in which she scored 30 or more points for Armstrong.
30+ Point Games
11/23/85 Norma Faison 33 Rollins W 72-51
11/26/85 Norma Faison 32 Flagler W 105-68
12/8/85 Norma Faison 30 North Georgia W 83-78
“North Georgia would have been one of those type games and I am pretty sure that is the game that I went down with my knee injury with still a few minutes to go in the game. Flagler was not a really strong team. I probably could have put up more, but coach was one of those who didn’t believe in running a team in the ground. Coach took me out.”
Most Steals in a game
10, Norma Faison at Tift, 11/17/84
|Steals in a season
1.Tasha Washington, 03-04…106
2. Marva Lindsay, 92-93………97
3. Yolanda Oliver, 94-95………93
4. Tishay Lewis, 02-03 ………..91
5. Yolanda Oliver, 92-93………89
6. Norma Faison, 83-84 ………87
7. Renee Rice, 91-92 ………….80
8. Tasha Washington, 02-03…79
Alicia Durham, 05-06……….79
10. Marva Lindsay, 93-94………78
|Steals in a career
1. Yolanda Oliver, 91-95………302
2. Alicia Durham, 02-06……….268
3. Lexie Martin, 98-02 …………213
4. Norma Faison, 83-86 ……197
5. Jasmine Herron, 04-08…….196
6. Tasha Washington, 02-04…185
7. Michelle Hubbard, 95-98 179
8. Marva Lindsay, 92-94………175
9. Lee Harmer, 78-82 ………….162
10. Gigi Gibson, 80-84 ………….153
On defense Faison excelled in college at taking the basketball away from the opponent. She holds the record for steals in a game with 10 and she is in the top 10 in school history for steals in a season and a career.
“I wanted the ball, whether it was taking it from the offense or you throwing it to me and putting it in my hands. I had a number of steals. I think I stayed in the records for that for some time. I think I am still in the top 10 for those steals.”
Norma played college ball prior to the 3-point shot which means here point totals would be much higher than they are had there been an arc.
“Of course I would have loved to have had that opportunity. That is what I have said all along that with the number of points that I did score just shooting the two, a lot of my shots would have been 3-pointers. I missed out on that and I wish I had that opportunity.”
Points Per Game Career
Field Goals Made Career
All of Norma’s numbers were accumulated in just three seasons. She never got to play her senior season because the school dropped women’s basketball for one season while it was transitioning to a higher level.
“The school decided to go Division 2 (from NAIA) and there were only certain sports that they had to have and women’s basketball was not one of them at that particular time and they did away with women’s basketball during my senior year. That kind of washed it out for that year.”
On Sunday, December 9 at 2 p.m. Norma will be inducted into the Toombs County Athletic Hall of Fame. This will be her second time to become a Hall of Famer.
Armstrong State University
Athletic Hall of Fame Members
Class of 2002
Dr. Spencer Wheeler
“I am real appreciative and I am honored and I am grateful that I got that call. I felt wonderful about it. I know what I did at that school and I enjoyed it. I still say I am a Bulldog at heart. I am. I will always be a Bulldog at heart. My kids went to school at our rival, but I am still a Bulldog at heart.”
After her high school and college career Faison remained involved in the game.
“I moved to Atlanta and I did play in a city league where there were a lot of the college athletes who played against each other. I did kind of coach rec ball. Coached a lot of the boys back at home. A lot of the guys that have graduated and some of the girls. When I saw those guys playing high school ball- Carlos Eason, Brandon Driggers even my own son Wil Chambliss. When I saw those guys, I was like those are my boys.”
Armstrong State Honors
NAIA All-District 25
1982-83 Gigi Gibson
1983-84 Debra Danielson
1984-85 Debra Danielson
1984-85 Norma Faison
Athletic Conference (GIAC)
1983-84 Debra Danielson
1984-85 Debra Danielson
1984-85 Norma Faison