Lakota Beatty has heard the comparisons.
The Anadarko senior's father, George, is a bit of a small-school basketball legend, and people often tell her she plays just like he did.
But Lakota Beatty has brought the bloodline to a whole new level, developing into a Division I guard at Anadarko, winning the Class 4A state championship last season and now leading the top-ranked Warriors back to the tournament in hopes of a repeat. They open their defense at 7 p.m. Thursday against Vinita at Southern Nazarene University.
“There's a point where a kid gets hooked, and that's kind of what happened,” George Beatty said. “Whether or not I played had a lot to do with it, I'm not sure. I'm sure it had some, but to me it seems like they just did it on their own, especially her.”
Beatty was The Daily Oklahoman's Little All-City Player of the Year in 1972 out of Mount St. Mary when he averaged 28 points per game. He then played four years at Oklahoma City University, where he was the final recruit of Abe Lemons' first tenure.
It was at St. Mary that Beatty made his name, and even put the boys program on the map despite not yet being part of the OSSAA.
“I'm telling you, right at the epicenter of Mount St. Mary boys basketball success is George Beatty,” Beatty's high school coach and former Edmond coach, Mike de la Garza, said.
Michelle Beatty, though, also had success, starring in high school at North Dakota before playing at Bismarck United Technical College. She later coached Lakota and her sisters Ryan and Ashley in Little League.
“She was hard,” Lakota Beatty said. “It kind of reminds me of our practices now because all we do is run.”
Similar to her father, Beatty has already signed to play college basketball — at Oklahoma State — and was a member of The Oklahoman's Super Five in 2012. She is also a strong candidate to be named this season's Player of the Year and is averaging more than 17 points and 4.6 assists per game.
And she hears the on-court comparisons.
“People just tell me he's a good shooter and I can shoot like him,” Beatty said.
Lakota's likeness to her father on the court goes beyond just shooting. De la Garza was shocked in the similarities when he first saw Lakota play her sophomore season.
“She naturally has the same stance, when she puts the ball down she can go by you, she can step people off, her shot motion is just like her dad in every way including the fact that he goes,” de la Garza said. “He was a great shooter, and so is she.”
George Beatty says he hasn't done much to help Lakota come along, but that's likely far from the case.
“My dad, he's really basketball smart,” Lakota Beatty said. “He just tells me what to do, and usually what he says is the outcome of what happens.”
This season, she has improved tremendously on the defensive end of the floor, and in the process has become a better player.
“She has became a very good defensive player, better at getting assists, getting steals,” Anadarko coach Jeff Zinn said. “She's an all-around player right now.”