By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
Many student-athletes that have graduated from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor have gone on to make impacts in many walks of life.
Recent Crusader basketball player Macy Moore is one of those student-athletes turned educator.
Moore, an assistant coach on the Killeen Lady Roos basketball coaching staff, is less than one year removed from the collegiate basketball level.
A four-year player for UMHB, Moore started 71 of her final 79 games and never missed a game in her four-year, letter-winning career. That shows you a lot about her durability and mental toughness.
A great player for Cypress Falls High School, Moore arrived in Belton in 2011 and immediately paid dividends as the first player off the bench for the Crusaders. She finished her career with 104 games played, 914 points, was 65-of-231 (.281) from behind the three-point arc, had 380 rebounds, 201 assists, 103 steals and an impressive 253-of-327 (.774) from the free-throw line.
She put in the work on the court with her teammates and for former Crusader head coach Lisa Curliss-Taylor. She also was a brilliant student athlete, making All-American Southwest Conference teams on the court and the dean’s list countless times in her stay in Belton.
She was the ASC Women’s Basketball Distinguished Scholar-Athlete in 2014, two-time member of the ASC Women’s Scholar Athlete team and was a three-time Academic All-ASC selection. It was her time as a student athlete at Cy-Falls that prepared her for her time at UMHB.
“The biggest challenge of being a student-athlete has to be time management,” Moore said. “The difference between a student-athlete and a regular student is so much more than just the word ‘athlete’. Student-athletes are not only expected to perform up to par academically with their classmates, but also find the time for 2 to 3-hour practices, road trips, getting extra shots up in the gym, watching film, homework, studying, having somewhat of a social life and getting enough sleep and rest (which always seem to be placed low on the priority list). Not to say that being a regular student isn’t difficult, but playing a sport on top of it can call for a pretty packed schedule. Time management is key. The biggest difference between being a high school student-athlete and a collegiate student athlete is the independence of it all.”
Her parents, Kevin and Carla Moore, helped Macy with her time and preparations at the beginning of her career.
“In high school, I had my parents to help me with the time management and to make sure I was on track with everything,” Moore said. “In college, you start to make your own decisions. You have to decide to stay in on a Friday night to study instead of hanging out with friends. You have to make the decision to bring homework with you on road trips instead of just taking a three-day break from school. You have to make the decision to wake up two hours earlier so you can shoot free throws and cram a little more before an exam. The experience of freedom that comes with college is nice, but it also comes with responsibility and decision making as well.”
Leadership was one of Moore’s strong points at UMHB. She had great mentors, which has bred Moore’s strong leadership after leaving the playing court at Mayborn Campus Center.
“I would have to say that my high school coach, Jim Stephens, at Cypress Falls High School really pushed me to be a leader,” Moore said. “I think he saw the qualities of a great leader inside of me and he pushed me to bring them out. I would also have to say that my parents always pushed me to be the best that I could be and to be the hardest worker where I was. I don’t think I ever consciously made the decision to lead every day. It was more of the fact that I was excited to practice, I had high energy, I wanted to be the best and I wanted everyone around me to be the best. The leadership naturally followed.”
Mathematics major from UMHB, Moore is getting another degree. She is getting her degree in sports management and is on track for a May graduation. Math has been a life-long love for Moore, which she has brought to the classrooms of Killeen High School.
“I have always loved math ever since I was little,” Moore said. “I was good at it and it made sense. I would always help my classmates with their math and seeing them understand it after I explained something, was a really great feeling. That is why I wanted to be a teacher. I enjoy teaching Calculus specifically because I think it is a really challenging subject. It still makes me think and it pushes me. I like pushing my Calculus students and to see their satisfaction after solving really difficult problems. They’re proud to learn the hardest math offered in high school, and I’m proud that they are motivated to do so.”
The adjustment from being a basketball player to being a coach is one that Moore is in the process of making. But coaching under Killeen head coach Latisha Williams has been extremely gratifying, especially with the great season the Lady Roos are having in District 12-6A in 2015-2016.
“When I first made the adjustment, I wanted lace up my shoes and do all of the drills with them,” Moore said. “Most players miss playing in the games, I honestly miss the practices. I loved playing basketball every day. It was hard to realize that that part of me was gone. Lacing up my shoes and playing with the girls isn’t helping them accomplish anything. My skills as a basketball player was always one of the best things I had to offer. Before, it was the best thing I had to offer to my coaches. Now, my basketball skills are still something I have to offer to the players, but now in the form of instruction, not action. My ability to make three-pointers isn’t useful to high school basketball players. My knowledge of HOW to make three-pointers is what matters now. The transition from player to coach is so hard and I feel like one doesn’t truly know the difficulty until one has to go through it. However, I have started to play in a women’s league in Killeen, which helps me deal with my need to play the game. Now I get to lay it all out on the court on Saturdays! And yes, for some reason I can’t stop saying the words “when I played”. I’m not sure why I feel the need to talk about my career, probably just because I miss it so much and don’t want to let it go.”
One advantage that Moore has as being a recent collegiate player is the ability to relate to the game and to what student athlete goes through.
“Yes, I do think that they can relate to me. Of course I give them advice on how to play better on the court,” Moore said. “But I also feel like one of the best things I have to offer is my advice on how to deal with the mental aspect of it. When a player has a bad game, I know what to tell them so they can have a better one next time. When a player misses a shot or makes a turnover, I know what they need to hear to turn their game around. I was in their shoes less than a year ago. I know what all of these things feel like. I also know how frustrating it is to lose, make a turnover, miss an important shot, etc. I also know what it feels like to win, make an important shot, make a great pass etc. I also like to give them advice on the whole time management thing I was talking about earlier and what it takes to get to the next level (collegiate basketball).”
Moore hopes to be a head coach one day, but she is enjoying the experiences and is learning from Williams and her staff.
“Being on Coach Williams’ staff has been an invaluable experience,” Moore said. “Being able to observe a great and talented head coach will help me in so many ways down the road. While I haven’t coached my own team yet, I can’t wait to use the things I have learned these past months. My hope is to be a head coach one day. I know that is far down the road, but I really am lucky to have the opportunity to be part of such a great coaching staff and be able to do what I can to help such a talented group of girls.”
“Macy has been such a blessing to this program,” Williams said. “The players respected her and took her in as soon as they saw her shoot the ball. Macy is still young enough to get on the court with them and show them how to do techniques correctly. She is also a very good Math teacher on our campus. I believe she teaches three of my varsity players calculus and they love her. She’s been the team tutor in math. Macy’s role during games is to look for easier ways to score. I can get caught ball watching while I’m coaching so she focuses on one aspect of the game and that really helps. She’s very knowledgeable about basketball and breaks down situations very well. I find myself asking her a lot of questions about what we can do better during games and practice.”
Williams agreed that the adjustment that Moore has made from college to educating at the high school level is one that she has made with great success.
“I think that she’s adjusted well to working instead of being a college student,” Williams said. “We’ve kept her very busy this year and she’s taken it like a champ. She’s been awesome for this program and I hope we can keep her around for awhile.”