The All Sports welcomes back former NBA star and 1999 All Sports Association Professional Award winner, Tom Hammonds, as this year’s All Sports Amateur Award winner for his success in the martial arts as a competitive Jiu Jitsu fighter. He is a reigning World Champion of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation in the Purple Belt/Ultra Heavy division.
Tom Hammonds is building upon a remarkable resume of accomplishments including his efforts in leading the Crestview Bulldogs basketball team to the 3A State Championship in 1985 as a McDonald’s All-American. Tom enrolled at Georgia Tech in 1985 and was a standout for Bobby Cremin’s Yellow Jackets for four years. He was named ACC Rookie of the Year and NCAA Co-Rookie of the Year, a title he shared with Louisville’s Purvis Ellison. He also earned a gold medal as part of the U.S. National Basketball Team at the FIBA World Championship in 1986. A 1st team All-ACC selection in 1988 and 1989, Tom was named the Georgia Tech Student-Athlete of the Year and the Georgia Sports Player of the Year his senior season. He graduated with a B.S. in Industrial Management and the No. 20 he wore at Georgia Tech is one of only six uniform numbers retired by the Yellow Jackets.
The Washington Bullets selected the 6’-9” Hammonds in the 1st round of the 1989 NBA Draft, the ninth overall pick. Following a three-year run with the Bullets, his 12-year NBA career as a power forward included stretches with the Charlotte Hornets (1992-1993), the Denver Nuggets (1993-1997), and the Minnesota Timberwolves (1997-2001). Serving as a strong, silent enforcer against the likes of Dennis Rodman, Tom “The Terminator” Hammonds ended his NBA career with 3,686 points scored and 2,287 rebounds over 708 games, including 21 playoff games. He retired from pro basketball in 2001.
While playing in Denver, Tom became captivated by his love for racing and finished second in the 1996 Mopar Parts Mile High Nationals. He followed his passion and became a team owner in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Pro Stock series. During his racing years, he established the Race For Achievement program to promote racing, leadership, education, and sportsmanship for teenage students. For his remarkable work in sports and with youth, Tom Hammonds was inducted into the All Sports Association Hall of Fame in 2007.
His competitive spirit has led Tom to his current passion: the martial arts. In 2012, Hammonds started training at Capitao MMA in Fort Walton Beach where he was quickly humbled at his new challenge. However, he progressed quickly, receiving a white belt and becoming a Jiu Jitsu Georgia Combative Champion as well as an International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) Atlanta Open Champion in the Ultra Heavy division in 2013. He followed this quick success with the IBJJF Pan Am gold medal in 2014, then the IBJJF World Championship (Blue Belt). Last year, he again earned an IBJJF World Championship (Purple Belt).
After owning a successful car dealership in Darlington, SC, he started Tom Hammonds Enterprises, LLC in Crestview, focusing on road construction and major infrastructure projects. Tom Hammonds continues to meet every challenge in his life with unwavering commitment and determination to be the best. We congratulate Tom for being named this year’s All Sports Amateur of the Year.
Tom resides in Crestview and enjoys his family time with his three sons: Tom, Keelan, and Kaison.