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Former Collins homecoming queen sings national anthem at NBA game

Updated: Mar. 5, 2021 at 1:20 PM CST
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COLLINS, Miss. (WDAM) - For Women’s History Month, WDAM is putting the spotlight on a Collins native and healthcare worker who works around the clock to help defeat COVID-19 and recently had the opportunity to sing at an NBA game.

In February, Katrina Dennis was selected to sing the national anthem at an Atlanta Hawks basketball game.

“I’ve never sang in front of that many people before, but I just asked God to make it to where I could enjoy the process, and I actually did,” Dennis said. “I was blessed to be able to do it. I was honored that I was chosen to represent healthcare workers all over the world.”

Dennis, a registered nurse, leads the COVID-19 unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Ga.

“I’m also the unit director for a hospice unit,” Dennis said. “So, with the two units combined, I’m overseeing over 60 employees at Emory University Hospital.”

She’s worked for the hospital for 18 years and said this past year has been like no other.

“We as healthcare workers, we were caught by surprise,” Dennis said. “We did not know what to expect. So, it’s been a lot. There’s some days now where you just have to sit in your car and cry and process what has gone on.”

While it’s been tough, Dennis says a lot of positive things have come out of the pandemic. She says her team is much closer now than ever before.

“We were able to come together as a team and be there to support our patients, our colleagues and each other, and I think that was the biggest win out of all of this,” Dennis said. “We are a very tight family, and we’re going to be there to support one another no matter what.”

Dennis and her team are credited with saving the lives of hundreds of COVID-19 patients in Georgia. She says she is honored to serve, love and care for people, something her parents taught her at a very young age.

“My mom and dad raised us in church, and they raised us to love people,” Dennis said. “I went to nursing homes and we did volunteer work growing up, so my parents instilled those things in me. So, take each day and love people, enjoy your day, find some inspiration every day and be a help to others. I’m just grateful to serve and to represent Collins.”

Dennis attended Collins Elementary school, Collins Middle School and graduated with honors in 1996 from Collins High School. She was also the 1996 homecoming queen.

She encourages everyone to continue wearing masks and get vaccinated when they can.

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