Annie Hughes grew up an Auburn fan, hoping, wishing, and dreaming that one day she would play basketball for the Tigers.
Fourteen months ago, that dream took a step toward reality when the Pisgah standout committed to Auburn.
On Wednesday, with the signing of her name, Hughes started living that dream.
Hughes officially joined the Auburn women’s basketball program, signing her letter of intent during a signing ceremony at Pisgah High School.
“It’s my dream go to Auburn,” Hughes said. “No. 1, it’s a dream to get to play college basketball, that’s awesome. But Auburn’s the school. I’ve always cheered for Auburn. Auburn feels like home.”
Hughes said she never wavered on her commitment to the Tigers.
“There’s been no question about it in my mind,” she said. “I’ve always known this was where I wanted to go.”
Hughes, a 5-foot-10 guard, is entering her fourth season as a starter for Pisgah. She is two-time Class 3A All-State performer and was the Class 3A State Tournament MVP last season after helping the Eagles win the state championship. She was also an Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 3A Player of the Year finalist, was selected to the 2017-18 USA Today All-Alabama Girls Basketball first-team, was the Jackson County Player of the Year for a second straight season and was the Class 3A Northeast Regional MVP during a season in which she averaged 24 points, 3.5 assists, six rebounds and 3.1 steals per game.
For her career, Hughes is averaging 18.8 points, 2.4 assists, 6.5 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game.
Hughes is the first Division I signee in the storied history of Pisgah basketball.
“This is first,” Ellison said. “I don’t think there’s anybody that’s deserved it anymore than Annie. She’s put the work in, outside of practice time, and that’s unusual for most high school athletes. They think they work — at practice — but I can’t count the nights she’s called wanted to get in the gym to get up shots, whether after a softball game or in the middle of the summer. She’s put the work in, put the travel in it takes to be seen and she’s gifted. God gave her natural athletic ability to go with her work habits.”
Hughes was the North All-Stars Team’s MVP during its 66-57 win in the annual North-South All-Star Game this past summer. She also plays AAU basketball for the Huntsville-based AL Southern Starz.
Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flourney called Hughes a “tough, blue-collar worker” in a story about Auburn’s signees on auburntigers.com.
“She will fit into our style of play very well,” Williams-Flourney said. “She’s a 2-3 guard that can shoot the 3.”
Hughes is a multi-sport standout at Pisgah. She’s a three-year starter at shortstop of the Pisgah softball program, and made the all-state tournament team after helping the Eagles win the 2017 Class 3A state title. She is was also a three-year starter for the Pisgah volleyball team, helping the Eagles make two North Super Regional appearances.
Hughes said she is looking forward to the challenge of playing college basketball in the SEC.
“It’ll be tough, no doubt,” she said. “They’re going to expect more, demand more. I’m excited to push myself.”