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Being mother now motivates Waugh to be her best

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Indiana All-Star and Franklin Community graduate Anna Waugh cuts Barb Rhoad's hair at Waugh's Franklin salon. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal
Indiana All-Star and Franklin Community graduate Anna Waugh cuts Barb Rhoad's hair at Waugh's Franklin salon. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal

Indiana All-Star and Franklin Community graduate Anna Waugh cuts Barb Rhoad's hair at Waugh's Franklin salon. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal
Indiana All-Star and Franklin Community graduate Anna Waugh cuts Barb Rhoad's hair at Waugh's Franklin salon. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal

Of the changes that have gone on as Anna Waugh grew older, some are more apparent than others.

Waugh at 120 pounds is noticeably lighter than the 5-foot-5, 160-pound human floor burn who scored 1,595 points as a girls basketball player at Franklin Community High School from 1996-2000.

The lean frame is a byproduct of remaining active without the athletic strength-training Waugh immersed herself in her teens and early-20s, when, by her own admission, she had some growing up to do.

Today, being the best role model she can to her 16-month-old daughter is of great importance to Waugh, 32, whose very existence performed a 180-degree turn on Oct. 1, 2012, the day she gave birth to Laine at Johnson Memorial Hospital.

“I literally grew up the day I gave birth to Laine. Suddenly, it’s not about you anymore,” Waugh said. “I want to be a role model for her.”

Waugh owns and operates AK Hair Studio in Franklin with assistance from two part-time stylists. The letters stand for her first and middle (Kathleen) names.

Content with the life she shares with life partner Robin Tinberg, Waugh, who still looks as though she could fearlessly drive the lane and draw contact, can’t completely detach herself from the desire to one day coach basketball.


Name: Anna Waugh

Age: 32

Born: Indianapolis

Job: Owner of AK Hair Studio

Family: Partner, Robin Tinberg; daughters, Leyton, 10, Laine, 16 months

High school: Franklin Community (2000)

College: IUPUI (2007)

Major: General studies, communications

Favorite TV show: “The Black List”

Favorite movie: “Hoosiers”

Favorite food: Peanuts

“I definitely miss the thrill of the game,” she said. “I think I would be an excellent coach. I know the game inside and out.”

After accomplishing virtually everything at Franklin — including leading the Cubs to a runner-up finish in the first-ever Class 3A state championship game as a sophomore and being named to the Indiana All-Star Team — Waugh’s college experience proved erratic.

She transferred after one season at Indiana University, opting to relocate 1,600 miles to the northwest in Bozeman, Mont., home of Montana State University.

NCAA transfer rules and pulled ligaments in Waugh’s right ankle sidelined her for the 2001-02 and 2002-03 women’s basketball seasons. It was then she elected to return home. She eventually completed her studies at IUPUI.

All told, one season of collegiate basketball competition out of a possible four.

Then again, growth curves aren’t created equal.

In hindsight, Waugh has made choices she wishes she could alter even if ever so slightly. Conversely, she’s managed to start a career she loves, surrounded by those she loves most.

Painful lessons

Waugh’s introduction to competitive basketball took place on the family’s driveway.

“I got interested when I was 6, 7, 8 years old. I grew up in the country, so it was just me and my brother playing in the driveway,” she said of Mike Waugh Jr., who is four years older than Anna.

“He and his friends were pretty tough on me. I had bloody noses, bloody eyes. But I didn’t back down, and it made me better.”

Waugh’s arrival at the girls varsity level opened the doors to the finest and most memorable era of the program’s 39-year history.

Franklin won the sectional in three of Waugh’s four seasons, along with a pair of Class 3A regionals and the Jasper Semistate in 1998, Indiana’s initial season under the current multiclass postseason system.

That Grizzly Cubs squad, the 10th in coach Walt Waines’ 26-year run to date, played the Class 3A title game inside since-imploded Market Square Arena against West Lafayette.

Franklin trailed 26-22 at the half, but the Red Devils pieced together a monster third quarter to pull away for a 62-45 victory. Waugh finished with six points, three rebounds and two assists before fouling out.

Two years later as a senior she averaged 18.7 points and five boards.

“First of all, I love Anna. She’s one of those special kids. Not just because of her ability, but her competitiveness. ... Let’s just say if you went to battle with Anna on your side, you knew you had a good shot at coming out a winner,” Raines said.

“Her parents are great people. Extremely supportive. And they knew Anna was a kid you could lock horns with, and they trusted me to get the best out of her.”

Aside from her point total, Waugh also exceeded 400 in basketball’s other key statistical categories — rebounds, assists and steals.

“Anna is the best girls player to ever come through Franklin,” Raines said. “That’s no disrespect to the others, but Anna was just such an extraordinary talent.”

Short stay at IU

Waugh’s only season in Bloomington unfolded under the watchful eye of head coach Kathi Bennett, who in 2000-2001 was in her first year succeeding the fired Jim Izard.

Statistically, Waugh enjoyed her moments but nonetheless chose to transfer. It’s a decision she regrets to this day.

“After Izard left I wanted to play for a male coach, like I had with coach Raines,” she said. “I’m pretty strong-headed, and when you clash with a female coach ... I just didn’t communicate with (Bennett). I wish I would have stayed at IU.

“It was a bad choice at the time. I should have stuck it out and made it work.”

Choosing a destination as remote as Montana surprised some.

“I felt it was just a time to make some kind of drastic change,” Waugh said. “But after sitting out for two years, (basketball) wasn’t the same anymore.”

Looking back, Waugh said not being named Indiana’s Miss Basketball in 2000 affected her.

“When I didn’t get Miss Basketball, it broke me,” said Waugh, who watched as another 5-5 guard, Jeffersonville’s Sara Nord, wore the No. 1 jersey in the annual two-game series against the Kentucky All-Stars. “I felt it was such a political thing.

“That was my dream.”

Asked if it still bothers her nearly 14 years after the fact, Waugh said, without hesitation, “Yeah, it does.”

Coaching, maybe

The intensity and innate feel for the sport Waugh brought to basketball courts throughout central Indiana for four memorable seasons create something of an emotional tug-of-war.

Some days she seriously considers getting into coaching. Others Waugh is too preoccupied with her work and family responsibilities to give it much thought.

One thing is clear: Basketball is and will always be engrained within her.

“It was a lot of time. I put my life into it when I was younger,” Waugh said. “The thrill. The emotion. Those were the best parts. The thrill of getting to the state was just the most incredible feeling.”

Who knows? Maybe one day she’ll go back.

The little girl who changed Waugh’s life for the better is on the verge of turning 17 months old.

In her mother’s not-so-unbiased view, the kid already looks like a future girls basketball player. Perhaps even a very good one. But that’s one for the years ahead to figure out.

As any Cubs girls player from the 21st century will tell you, Anna Waugh was no easy act to follow.

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