February 14, 2007 - by
Family Life Sets Standard For Junior Nikki Anthony

Feb. 14, 2007

By Brett Brecheisen, FSU Sports Information

Do you think having one job is hard? Try asking Florida State’s Nikki Anthony. She has three.

“It’s a lot to juggle,” said the junior center from Pickens, S.C. “It’s very difficult. I have very long days.”

Anthony not only spends hours upon hours at the Basketball Training Center next to the Donald L. Tucker Center, but she is also a student teacher at Lawton Chiles High School. Further, she is taking a full semester of classes as well.

“I’m teaching physical education,” said Anthony. “My major is in physical education and I want to teach high school after I finish college. It’s been a great experience. I’ve been learning a lot and it has been fun.”

Even after being in Tallahassee for four years (she is a senior academically but only a junior in eligibility), Anthony still struggles to manage her time and cope with handling the distance from her family back in South Carolina.

“I’m still not completely adapted to college life,” said Anthony. “My mom called me this morning and said `We miss you baby!’ and my sister just had a new baby and I haven’t even seen it. It’s just hard. Life is not easy and you don’t get many breaks. Even when you do get a day off from basketball, it’s a school day. We have to get groceries and do laundry and things of that nature. I don’t call them days off, they’re days of recovery.”

Anthony’s dad has been through a lot himself. Also a collegiate athlete, Rick Anthony played football in the 1970’s at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. He later went on to play for the Chicago Bears in the NFL for a year but unfortunately suffered a career ending injury.

“My family has been through a lot of things and my dad is always an inspiration,” said Anthony.

Nikki’s mother was also an athlete. Peggy Anthony played both basketball and softball, at the University of South Carolina, and was Nikki’s volleyball coach at Pickens High School where Nikki won the High School Sports Report Ms. Volleyball in South Carolina in 2002.

Being the daughter of two former collegiate athletes, one might think Anthony grew up with a lot of pressure on her shoulders. However, that is far from the case.

“My parents are always encouraging me because it’s really good to be getting involved and sports gives you so many life lessons that you can’t really get anywhere else,” she said. “But they also really pushed me in school because of my dad’s experience with football and he always encouraged me that no matter what happens, I’ll always have an education to fall back on. They would push me in school and use sports as a reward for me. If you don’t do well in school, then you can’t play sports.”

It’s that kind of strong standard set by her parents and her growing up on a farm in rural South Carolina that Nikki still lives by today, both in life and on the basketball court.

“Some people never get a life lesson,” said Anthony. “When things get hard, they quit. If you quit on a farm, you kill things. Those animals are depending on you. We work hard. My dad is a 56 years old, and once broke his back. We’re just a hard working family. You know everything we have, we’ve earned and worked for and we’re appreciative of it. We got everything we needed, not everything we wanted, but, it’s a good lesson.”

Playing at Florida State has also given Anthony a lesson in appreciating her surroundings and opportunities.

“All of the travel we’ve done and all of the wonderful people we’ve met, it’s made me realize the world is a beautiful place,” Anthony said. “I appreciate people. We just had a banquet and they all came up and talked to me and said they were so proud of me and I just want them to know that their voice is heard by me and that when they cheer for me it just gives me such a lift.”

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