Like most people, Andi Haney doesn’t like to lose.
This passion for winning follows Haney everywhere, even behind the wheel.
“I drive fast,” said Haney. “Not because I’m worried about being late, I just want to see if I can beat my previous best time.”
If you’ve seen her play a basketball game then you’ve seen Haney’s competitive fire in full blaze.
Haney helped lead West Plains to one of its best seasons in school history (27-2), pacing the Lady Zizzers in scoring (23.3 PPG), rebounds (7.3 RPG) assists (6.2 APG) and steals (4.3 SPG), ultimately culminating in a district championship game upset of Republic, the defending Class 4 State Champs.
In fact, you’d have to leave the gym completely to truly understand Haney.
Since 2005 Coach Womack’s wife, Carrie, has battle multiple forms of cancer. What started as breast cancer before going into remission came back in 2011 as bone cancer.
With the players being so close to the Womack Family, Andi, like many athletes, felt compelled to do something to help.
“Carrie has cancer and has had it for a while,” said Haney. “Seeing her struggle with it and everything she goes through really motivated us to want to do something for her.”
Haney, who had routinely assisted the family as she could, decided to take it a step farther.
“Andi was always wanting to help,” said Womack. “She asked if we could do an alumni game to raise some money for Carrie. She really took it and ran with it.”
Haney would help spearhead the cause, getting 28 former West Plains players together for an alumni game, as well as organizing a benefit dinner and silent auction.
In all, the evening raised $12,000 to help the Womacks.
Haney wasn’t done there.
After seeing the impact of “Pink Out” games throughout the area, the Lady Zizzers decided to organize one of their own.
Haney and her teammates fundraised to generate enough money to buy 26 pink “West Plains” jerseys to help take the game from a dream to reality.
The game generated more than $2,000 with all of the money benefitting a local cancer treatment facility.
“I’m always going to be appreciative to her for doing that, it wasn’t something that she had to do,” said Womack. “She’s always been a great player, but that just shows you what kind of person she is. She cares about people and wants to help people; she’s just one of those people that goes out of her way to help others.”
Haney, who’s high school resume also includes FCA, NHS, DECA, FCCLA, and the Beta Club, was awarded the Female Citizen of the Year honor.
The distinction is voted on by teachers and faculty at West Plains High School.
“It was such a humbling honor,” said Haney. “I don’t want to just be labeled as a basketball player. Fortunately basketball has given me the
opportunity to give back and help others. That is why we are here, to give back and be a servant. I am truly blessed with what god has given me.”
Next fall Haney will be given the chance to continue her basketball career collegiately at Harding University.
Awaiting Haney in Searcy, Ark. will be former teammate, and older sister, Tabitha.
“I’m excited about getting the chance to play with her again,” said the younger Haney. “We make each other a better player because we have complimentary roles.”
With all that Haney has done on and off the court in the past four years, it isn’t hard to believe that the next four years will be just as plentiful.
Regardless, of what her future holds, Coach Womack will have many memories about one of the best players to ever wear a West Plains jersey.
“You thank her for what she was able to do for the program. She won 94 games as a four year starter, three district titles, a conference championship and scored more than 2,000 points,” said Womack. “But what she’s done outside of basketball for our school and for my family has been overwhelming, and it is the thing that I will remember most about her.”
Favorite athlete: Tabitha Haney Favorite team: Duke Pregame superstition: Pray Most disliked athlete: LeBron James Favorite movie: Date Night Favorite musical artist: Justin Timberlake Favorite actor: Jim Carey Favorite athletic memory: Traveling with my family Song on your IPod people wouldn't expect: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Hidden talent: I have a pretty mean toe touch.
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