Hometown Heroes

Tommy Aaron

Photo of Tommy Aaron.
"Find something you love to do and spend your life perfecting it. I heard an old golf pro say, ‘If a swing works, spend time perfecting it, not changing it."

Tommy Aaron is a Gainesville native and professional golfer who is best known for winning the 1973 Masters. Other accomplishments include winning two Georgia Open Crowns, SEC Championship title playing for University of Florida and a Canadian Open. He is a true Gainesville treasure.

Deshaun Watson

Photo of Deshaun Watson, a Gainesville hometown hero.
"I never forget where I come from. It means everything."“I never forget where I come from. It means everything."

Deshaun Watson calls Gainesville his home and is truly a hometown hero. Watson was the first freshman quarterback to start for Gainesville High School’s Red Elephants. He went on to play for Clemson where he led the team to a national championship in 2016. He currently plays for the Houston Texans where he was named to his first Pro Bowl in 2018.

The Hall County "Field of Dreams" dedicated to Phil Niekro.

The Field of Dreams is a field designed specifically for people with disabilities and a playground constructed to accommodate  those unable to use other playgrounds.  This Hall County facility is named after one of the original contributors behind the project, former Atlanta Braves pitcher and Hall of Famer Phil Niekro.

“I’m very proud to be part of this,” said Niekro, who lives in Flowery Branch. “All of those kids who would’ve liked to be in the big leagues can now put on uniforms and play on teams.

This field has now become a lasting tribute to Phil Niekro who recently passed away in 2020 and will be enjoyed by thousands of children in our community.