Over the course of Harding’s history, there have been five pairs of brothers and sisters that have played on the same team. In the 2013-14 women’s basketball season, sisters Tabitha and A’ndrea Haney joined those ranks. Tabitha, a sophomore guard, began playing at Harding in 2011. Her younger sister A’ndrea, a freshman, was added to the roster in 2013, playing guard as well.
Playing on the same team was nothing new to the Haney sisters; they played together since elementary school.
“We played every summer since I was in the third grade,” Tabitha said. “We also played on the same high school team.”
A’ndrea was confident that playing basketball together was essential to their development as players.
“Every summer that we played, basketball became more of a lifestyle, not just a game,” A’ndrea said. “We both became more and more passionate as the years went on, and that passion also stemmed from encouragement from our parents.”
Coach Tim Kirby, head women’s basketball coach, knew that having both sisters on the team was a good thing.
“You can tell that Tabitha and A’ndrea are almost like twins,” Kirby said. “They think on the same wavelength and are always complementary to each other on and off the court.”
Both sisters agreed that they were helpful to each other and brought the best out in each other.
“We don’t play the same position or have the same skill set, so we complement each other well,” Tabitha said. “We are like twins. It makes us a lot better playing together.”
While the sisters could have gone separate ways for their education, A’ndrea said that it was not a difficult decision to stick with her sister.
“Tabitha coming to Harding had a big influence on me,” A’ndrea said. “I really loved when I visited. We have a really close family, and the fact that I would get to play with her again and live with her really meant a lot to me.”
Coach Kirby noticed the bonding through the way Tabitha and A’ndrea interact.
“They always compete hard, but never against each other,” Kirby said. “They have a great relationship. They are like best friends.”
Both Tabitha and A’ndrea were very happy to be together again after the two year separation from playing basketball and softball together in high school. Both recognized and appreciated the support given from the other.
“Playing together is not only fun, it is a [source] of confidence and pride,” Tabitha said. “You are never just playing for yourself or your team, but you are always playing for your sister.”