by Karen Harris Brooks
For New Pittsburgh Courier
The Carrick High Alumni Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony honors outstanding coaches, teams and alumni athletes. The 16th Annual event was held at the campus auditorium on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 31. Former students who have made significant contributions throughout their lives were also recognized during the ceremony.
Sarah Davis Sumpter, principal of Sterrett Classical Academy, located in the Point Breeze section of the city, nominated accomplished jazz and rhythm and blues singer/songwriter Phyllis Linda Hyman. Sumpter recalled the good times she shared with the friend she described as “family.” Growing up together in St. Clair Village, Sumpter spoke with love and admiration of the incredible song bird who received Carrick High’s distinguished alumni recognition.
Sumpter recalled her relationship with Hyman, describing the powerful vocalist as a lady who “had a heart of gold, never forgetting St. Clair Village or Carrick High School.”
With a voice as strong and passionate as the personality she possessed, the ardent warmth of Hyman’s golden voice could reach the depth of one’s soul, connecting both the pain and joy of the heartfelt songs she shared with the world. Hyman’s sultry voice was laced with a soulful deepness that would bring men to their knees and give women shadows of hope and glimmers of strength, reminders that they were not alone in their individual struggle. It was a voice that united with the spirit…a voice that will never be duplicated.
Attending the event were two of Hyman’s siblings, sisters Ann and Jeannie Hyman. Although it has been 17 years since their sister’s death, they remember their older sister as a leader, both in life and within the family. “She liked to be in charge,” stated Ann enthusiastically, “never afraid to speak on her ideas…the typical big sister.”
Both sisters describe Phyllis as a “popular student…an extrovert who loved school.” Jeannie stated her sister’s “talent was always evident.” Leaving home at the early age of 19 to follow her dreams, Hyman’s memory continues to live in the hearts of the six remaining siblings. With a broad smile and an assured confidence, Ann related her sister’s soulful spirit to “the baptism of fire…” Anyone who has ever listened to the voice of Phyllis Linda Hyman would agree that the fire was extinguished all too soon.
Phyllis Ann Davis Jones, class of 1978, was one of the inductees into The Carrick High Alumni Sports Hall of Fame. Former honoree Dayle Wicks Logan nominated her long-time friend because of her passionate contribution to both the world of sports and education, as well as her active participation within the community. As the esteemed basketball coach and physical education teacher at George Westinghouse High School, Jones’ dossier is evident of the accomplishments of a very skilled and influential leader.
A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Jones is adamant about the value of education…and she enforces that belief to her students. Credited with an outstanding graduation record for her athletes, the respected coach embraces the art of teaching with a special gift of love as she strives to improve the quality of life for all those within her tutelage.
The 2008-2009 season of Westinghouse High included five senior players. Out of those five students, three have received full basketball scholarships and two have received full academic scholarships to prestigious universities. While Jones’ athletic accomplishments are phenomenal, her team’s academic success is an extraordinary credit to her contributions to the world of education.
Jones’ expertise extends beyond the walls of the beloved institution in which she gives so much. Her walk of commitment includes her dedication to the South Park Junior Olympics, YMCA, and the IMAGE Program (Investing, Motivating, Assisting Girls in Education), to name a few.
Presenting the award to Jones was alumni, Jennifer Bruce Scott. When talking about her friend, Scott spoke with pride of the positive impact that Jones has had as a leader and mentor to young African-American women. Humbly, Jones states, “I value hard work, honesty, integrity…I teach my students and players to earn everything they get and to always take responsibility for your own behavior.”
Married to D. Floyd Jones Ph.D., they are the proud parents of three daughters.
The ceremony was dedicated to the memory of U. S. Marine Sgt. Ryan H. Lane, a 2002 graduate of Carrick High, who was killed in action in Afghanistan.