Nicknamed "Hoops" in junior high because of her love for the game, Erin Dahlman went on to become a four-year letter winner, all-region and all-state player for the Lady Longhorns.
Playing point guard at PHS from 1995 to 1997, she was a crisp ball handler who could also rebound, defend, score and run the floor. Few in the region were her equal as a floor general.
Her senior year, 1998, she was asked to make the switch to the off guard which then-coach Jerry Daniels said would be in the best interest of the team.
Showing none of the ego that motivates some talented athletes, Dahlman made the change without hesitation.
That season, her shooting and ball-handling prowess which included a team-high 30 three-pointers and 40 assists fueled the Lady Horns to their best season ever (23-5) and a regional championship.
At the conclusion of the campaign, Daniels praised Dahlman for her unselfish attitude and willingness to sacrifice her personal goals for the good of the team.
Following her graduation from Payson High, Dahlman took her hardwood act to Yavapai College in Prescott ,where she played the past two seasons.
Although she's led the life of a gym rat since she was five years of age, Dahlman said she still hasn't had her fill of the sport and would like to continue playing at a four-year school.
One of her options is Southwestern Bible College in Phoenix, where former NBA star and current Seattle Supersonics coach Paul Westphal once coached.
Her other option is to accept a scholarship to Upper Iowa College in Fayette, Iowa. She plans on visiting the school next week so she can learn more about the program.
"I'll make my decision (about college) then," Dahlman said.
But before the shooting star departs for college, she's going to take time to share her hard earned hardwood expertise with young players in her hometown. Dahlman will be the feature coach at the upcoming girls basketball camp, sponsored by the Town of Payson Parks and Recreation Department and the Lady Longhorn basketball program.
Set for 8 a.m. to noon, July 17 to 20 at Payson High, the camp is open to fledgling players 8 to 14 years of age.
Dahlman said she's eagerly looking forward to the opportunity of helping develop some of the younger local players. At the camp, she'll help campers improve their fundamental skills especially those involving ball handling.
Taking care of the ball and keeping it out of the opponent's possession is a crucial part of the game, she said. Dahlman also will emphasize shooting, position play and defensive skills.
On the staff will be newly-appointed Lady Horn basketball coach Shaun Hardt, who promises the camp will offer plenty of quality instruction.
Young players interested in participating may register at the Parks Rec office, 1000 West Country Club Drive. The fee is $30 which includes a camp T-shirt, and currently 22 girls have signed-up for the camp.