January 9, 2005 - by
Nikki Anthony Is Playing Big And With A Big Heart

Jan. 9, 2005

By: Nina Provenzano, FSU Sports Information

For most college students, managing classes and a social life at Florida State University is hard enough work. For dual-sport athlete Nikki Anthony, classes and homework are only the beginning. Named Ms. Volleyball in her home state of South Carolina, the 6’3″ freshman was recruited to play both volleyball and basketball for the Seminoles.

“It was my dream to play two sports in college,” Anthony said. “That’s actually why I came to Florida State, because they were willing to come and let me do that.”

Basketball season and volleyball season can overlap for several weeks and that is the busiest time of the year for Anthony. With days starting at 8:00 a.m. and filled with three classes, three and a half hours of practice and then homework on top of all that, it can really take a toll on a person.

“It’s always challenging to balance all of that,” she said. “It’s a lot easier when there’s no overlap. When you get time off all you want to do is eat, sleep and just that, relax.”

With all of her success and goals met, she is extremely humble. After taking a redshirt last year for basketball, this is the first year that she has played full force in both sports.

“The redshirt season humbled me,” Anthony said. “It took me from being the star to being not even a shadow. I think for me it was actually great.”

You can see that she means it and appreciates every moment she is on the court.

“I think that’s the biggest difference this year,” Anthony said. “Realizing that playing is not supposed to be given to you, you have to work every single day for it. I was really looking forward to playing this year because our team has gone through so much.”

Since joining the team in the second game of the season, Anthony has played in 15 games and is averaging 10 minutes of play per game. She earned her first career start in the Colgate win and played a season-high 18 minutes and grabbed a then career-high eight rebounds. In the win over Miami, she exploded for 15 points and nine rebounds to help pace the team. Her efforts have helped the Seminoles to a 14-2 record.

“I understand my role and I think everyone on our team understands and that’s important to understand and perform your role,” she said. “I think that’s why we’re being so successful so far.”

Anthony provides a spark every time she enters a game. On a team that is very much guard-oriented, Anthony realizes how valuable she is to the team and makes the most of her playing time. And she’s not afraid to get into the trenches with the other team’s post players. When the Seminoles played Fordham in the San Juan Shootout, Anthony scored six points and had two rebounds in 12 minutes of play but she added some other superlatives to her performance. When the game was over, she also had a busted lip and claw marks on her arms from a not-so friendly opposing player. The game was indeed physical, but Anthony held her own.

“It just goes to show,” Anthony said, “you’re never going to win if you cheat.”

Despite the bumps and bruises, the freshman center considers herself blessed for the opportunity. She loves the time with her team and getting to show everyone what she can do. On a day where the team visited a local hospital, she said, “It broke my heart the people that don’t get a chance to play.”

This girl has the biggest heart and is living proof that good role models are possible.

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