ANACOCO — You'll have to forgive Anacoco head coach Michele Goins for getting a little choked up.

ANACOCO — You'll have to forgive Anacoco head coach Michele Goins for getting a little choked up.

It's not very often a basketball coach gets to send a player to the next level. It's a special occasion.

But it's even more special than some as Goins is sending her own daughter, Whitney Goins, to the collegiate ranks.

Goins, the reigning Vernon Parish Player of the Year inked a scholarship offer with the University of Louisiana-Monroe Lady Warhawks last Wednesday, becoming the third Lady Indian to sign with a Division I basketball squad out of high school, joining former Miss Basketballs Ashley Antony (Louisiana Tech) and Katie Antony (Vanderbilt).

“I'm so happy for Whitney,” Michele Goins said. “She has worked so hard to get to this point and I am very excited and confident in turning her over to Coach (Jeff) Dow. He really likes her size and athleticism.”

Goins, who averaged right at 15 points per game as a junior, led the Lady Indians to the Ladies Top 28 a year ago before falling in the semifinals to rival, Florien. Along the way, Goins was named the District 5-B Player of the Year as the Lady Indians defeated Fairview two times, including once in the state quarterfinals, along with winning first-team Class B all-state recognition from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

In addition to winning all of those honors in her junior season, Goins is a three-time all-district performer, a three-time all-Vernon Parish selection and a three-time all-state pick.

Her athletic exploits go far beyond the basketball court as she is a member of the 2016 Class B state runner-up cross country team, while also being a 400-meter state champion as a sophomore and the state runner-up as a junior.

Goins, who also had offers from McNeese State and LSU-Alexandria, began her basketball days like many Lady Indians do … in Little Dribblers.

It was during those formative years on the hardwood where Goins met one of her closest friends and teammate, Allie Haymon.

“Allie is been by my side since we were young,” Goins said. “She's been my partner in crime for 10 years and always pushed me to be my best.”

“I consider Allie to be Whitney's balance,” Michele Goins said. “They are each other's balance.”

According to Whitney Goins, her choice of UL-Monroe was quite easy to make.

“They made me feel wanted. They chose me,” she said. “They made me feel like they wanted me to be a part of their program. They have great facilities and the coaches understood all of my concerns.”

And even though the recruiting process is over and done, Goins knows there is still much to be done.

“I really don't think I could've waited much longer to sign,” she said. “Signing now will make things a bit easier. I can focus on my last year with the Lady Indians, while also supporting the Warhawks like they supported me.”

Goins said none of this would have been possible without the support of so many people throughout her life.

“I want to thank my family, especially my parents, and all of my teammates,” Goins said. “They have made me the best I could ever be and have never let me lose sight of my dreams.”