When the weather turned unfavorable in Anadarko as child, Lakota Beatty took her basketball talents inside.
Beatty turned wire hangers into rims and yarn into the net, placing one on each end of her kitchen and then playing for hours.
“I'm glad I did it,” Beatty said. “I'm glad I fell in love with the game at such a young age. I knew from probably about first and second grade that's what I wanted to do.
“That's all I was worried about, watching basketball all the time; I had my basketball all the time, I made those goals when it was cold. I am very thankful.”
Beatty has turned her dream into reality as she has developed into one of the state's top basketball players, earning a spot on The Oklahoman's Super 5 girls basketball team and a scholarship to play at Oklahoma State.
As a senior, Beatty led Anadarko to the Class 4A semifinals one season after winning the state championship. She averaged 17.7 points, 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game, evidence of her development as an all-around player.
“We needed her to do that because it leads everybody else to do it,” second-year Anadarko coach Jeff Zinn said. “If your best player will play defense, then everybody else is going to.
“The second thing is — and you didn't have to ask much — but she did a much better job distributing the ball to people, trusting teammates and of course she can rebound.
“There was really nothing she couldn't do this year.”
Beatty even scored 13 of her 22 points in the quarterfinals against Vinita with a broken index finger on her right hand, before ultimately struggling in the semifinal loss to Mount St. Mary.
“I just had to keep playing, no matter what,” Beatty said. “I couldn't let up or make an excuse or anything.”
Similar to her childhood, she never deviated from having the basketball in her hands. And that's how it will likely remain.
“Once Lakota took it up, she never put it down,” Beatty's mom Michelle said. “It's always been like her best friend.”