Dec. 8, 2005
By Erin Allison, FSU Sports Information
Sophomore Nikki Anthony proves that you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl. Hailing from Pickens, South Carolina, this 6’3″ center is still adjusting to life in the big city.
“A lot of people from Miami or Tampa don’t think that Tallahassee is a big city but it is a really big city to me,” Anthony said. “We only have about 14-15 stop lights in my whole town back home. I just really miss the country. I enjoy Tallahassee, but it was very much a culture shock.”
Nikki, a true Southerner, has been active and outgoing her entire life, which is most evident when she discusses what her perfect day would be like.
“I’d be on my horse or on my four-wheeler,” she said. “I hunt and fish. I’m a very outdoors person. I love to get dirty.”
And getting dirty is exactly what Anthony, dubbed “Big Country” since her sophomore year in high school, and her teammates did during the off season.
“We weight-lifted, we core trained, and we ran at 6:30 in the morning two to three times a week,” Anthony said. “I did individual workouts four hours a week, sometimes more.”
This season has already been a unique one for Anthony. After two seasons on the Seminole volleyball team, she decided it was time to hang up the knee pads and focus on only one sport at Florida State.
“I went through a lot of pain with my shoulder, plus it was just becoming too much for me to handle emotionally, mentally, and physically,” she said. “I was just drained. I came to a crossroads in my life and this is where I ended up. It’s where it felt right.”
Having decided to dedicate herself completely to basketball, Nikki feels that on many levels, she is stronger than ever now.
“This is my first year not playing volleyball so I actually had the time I didn’t have before to prepare for this season and work on my offensive game, developing new moves. I feel like I am in a lot better condition because I had the opportunity to train with the team. It’s a totally different preparation than I ever had before.”
After all of the changes that Anthony has experienced, she still finds it necessary to keep some things the same.
“I’m a very superstitious person,” Anthony explained. “The same person has to tape me all the time. After I get done with shoot-around and pre-game meal, I have to listen to the song, She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy, by Kenny Chesney, over and over again. I have to come back early and shoot some free throws before the game starts, and I always have to eat a Kit-Kat.”
Anthony had her high school volleyball jersey number 22 retired in December 2004 and is the only female athlete at her school to garner this honor. Her basketball jersey number 44 holds special significance as she wears it as a way to remember her late grandfather.
“I wore number 22 in volleyball and my grandpa used to always say I was double the trouble and he never got to see me play basketball competitively so when I got to the 6th grade, I wore number 44,” she said. “It was double 22, so double the trouble.”
She may be all business on the court but deep down, Nikki Anthony is still just a country girl with a really big heart.