BATON ROUGE, La. (BVM) – In a state that has produced women’s basketball legends such as 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame coach Kim Mulkey and four-time WNBA champion Seimone Augustus, Louisiana has a rich history of hardwood heroines.
While some names loom larger than others, there’s a pair of sisters from the village of Anacoco, in Vernon Parish, that are in rarified air for basketball players from the Bayou State.
Former Anacoco High School girls basketball stars Ashley and Katie Antony, who are the only siblings to have won the Louisiana Miss Basketball award, rank as the nation’s highest-scoring sisters of all-time.
While official LHSAA and NFHS records only take into account statistics from grades 9-12, the Antonys were able to play on the varsity high school team as seventh and eighth graders. Therefore, their true prep totals span past the traditional four-year career.
Ashley played five seasons (1994-99) at Anacoco – she was also a member of Pitkin High School’s varsity team as a sixth and seventh grader.* In 203 games, she recorded 4,706 points and more than 1,000 career rebounds (1,082), assists (1,062) and steals (1,001). Ashley ranks No. 15 all-time in scoring at the high school girls basketball level.
“I stayed after, I shot the extra 1,000 free throws, I conditioned extra, I worked on my jump shot extra,” Ashley said. “Through the summers, I played AAU ball and practiced on my own. I think in order for me to be the player that I was, it was because of all that hard work, all that extra time.”
Katie played six seasons (1997-2003) for the Indians amassing an incredible 6,190 career points. As the nation’s all-time leading scorer, she is also the only 6,000-point scorer in U.S. girls basketball history.
“We were having fun; we were being competitive and we wanted to win,” Katie said. “When you do that and you’re a team player, those type of things just follow suit. But it’s definitely still an honor to hold that record I will say, and I think it’s pretty cool that I still do.”
The Antonys helped the Anacoco Indians dominate for nine seasons, combining to bring home the state trophy seven times. Anacoco’s record with Ashley on the team was 192-11 including four state championships. Katie, having played one more season than her older sister, was on five consecutive state champion teams for the Indians that went 254-20 during her playing career.
Dominant individually and together on the court at Anacoco, Ashley and Katie would share the floor for two seasons. Making the switch from Class 2A to Class B in 1997-98, the Indians would take home the state title in both seasons with the sisters sharing the court.
“Now that I look back at it, I appreciate playing with her, but I don’t think I really, truly realized what a special time that was getting to play with her,” Ashley said of playing high school basketball with her sister.
“It was just fun watching her set the bar and learning from her,” Katie said. “I can attribute my success to her as well because she was a competitor and I was a competitor and we both wanted to win and do good.”
Their spectacular sense for scoring combined with their team’s success made both Antony sisters no-brainers for Gatorade Louisiana Girls Basketball Player of the Year honors when each were seniors. It was no surprise that NCAA Division I scholarship offers were on the table given their laundry list of athletic achievements.
Ashley graduated from Anacoco in 1999 and went on to play college basketball at Louisiana Tech University through the 2000-01 campaign. Her Lady Techsters were two-time Sun Belt conference regular season and tournament champions reaching the Elite Eight in both seasons. But ankle surgery following her sophomore season at Louisiana Tech resulted in the end of Ashley’s playing career.
“After I had my ankle surgery and I just wasn’t coming back like I thought I should be coming back and knowing I was going into the medical field – I just made that decision,” Ashley said. “I think I needed to think more about my future career and where I’m at currently was the best decision for me to be, you know, to hang up my tennis shoes and start working towards my career for later on.”
After receiving an Associate Degree of Science in nursing at Louisiana Tech, Ashley continued her academics 70 miles south at Northwestern State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing.
Katie was the Class of 2003’s valedictorian at Anacoco High School. She then attended Vanderbilt University for two seasons before transferring within the SEC to Louisiana State University (LSU). While a member of the Commodores she reached the Sweet Sixteen both as a freshman and sophomore. Katie was part of two Final Four squads for the Lady Tigers, however she had to sit out the 2005-06 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
The most decorated scorer in high school history elected not to play her redshirt senior season, instead focusing on academics. Katie would complete her Bachelor of Arts in communication at LSU before attending LSU-Shreveport (LSUS) to gain her Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA).
“I don’t have any regrets about it,” Katie said in regard to not using her final year of playing eligibility at LSU. “I was lucky to have been to the Elite Eight, Sweet Sixteen and two Final Fours in my collegiate career and I felt that it was the perfect time.”
Just like her younger sister, Ashley is set to earn her MHA from LSUS this fall.
They’ve come a long way from their prep glory, but it won’t ever be forgotten. On Oct. 6, Katie and Ashley will join their mother Quita Thompson Antony (2002) as the first-ever mother-daughters combination to be inducted into the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame. Quita not only starred as a player, she was a member of the McNeese State women’s basketball team in the late 1970s, but as a high school coach winning three LHSAA state championships at the helm of the Pitkin varsity girls basketball program.
“It just brings back a flood of memories of all the time spent in the gym, the sacrifice of our parents and all that hard work,” Ashley said about entering the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame. “You just kind of take a breath and say, ‘what an honor’ and what a class to be going in with.”
“I think it’s just a really cool honor to go into the Hall of Fame with your sister and your mom was the trailblazer for you,” Katie added. “She really planted those seeds for us and cultivated something that she knew we loved and we were good at and she showed us if you want to be great these are the sacrifices that you have to make to get there and she let us spread our wings. But she did teach us early on what you had to do if you want to be great. … I hope one day I can translate what I was taught to my children as well.”
While they’re left to reminisce on their playing careers, it would seem logical that the Antony sisters would return to the court as coaches given their mother’s career. Ashley never really gave it a thought, although she tried coaching her oldest son’s basketball team this past season saying, “coaching was never my forte. I believe that’s for the professionals.” Katie on the other hand feels differently about the sideline role.
“I started coaching my 3 and 4-year-old sons in boys basketball and I was their coach this year. I think it’s begun,” Katie said on becoming a basketball coach. “With that said, I’m calling my mom for pointers for sure.”
As their home state gets ready to recognize their outstanding high school athletic careers, not just as basketball players but also on the track, they continue their playful, never-ending debate on who the better basketball player was.
“She’s a way better athlete than me, but I think I played way better defense than her,” Ashley said. “I think I had to work a little bit harder at developing my skills, but I do have to say I was a better defensive player.”
“We’re two completely different players in my opinion, in terms of style and how we played,” Katie said. “Our competitive spirits, I’m going to say myself and she’s going to say herself. It’s funny that does come up quite often and we joke about that a lot. But she was great.”
Now married, Ashley Antony Robinson and Katie Antony Varnado, these sisters are flourishing just as well off the court as they did when they were still lighting up the scoreboards.
Ashley remains in Louisiana today, working as the Clinic Director for Delhi Rural Health Clinic and Delhi Community Health Center. Ashley’s husband, Andy Robinson, is the athletic director at St. Frederick High School in Monroe where he also serves as the Warriors’ head football and golf coach. Together they have two sons; James Parker, 12, and Ryder, 7.
Katie and her family have returned to Baton Rouge after spending the past few years in Alabama. She is the Director of Product and Brand Marketing for eQHealth Solutions. Katie’s husband, Dr. William Varnado, is an oncologist. They also have two sons.
* Ashley Antony’s statistics during the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons on Pitkin’s varsity girls basketball team are not included.