Moore back for 7th WNBA season (Basketball)

May 31, 2011
Jessica Moore

Time flies when you’re having the time of your life as a professional athlete.

Just ask Jessica Moore of Palmer.

The 6-foot-3 center with the WNBA’s Indiana Fever is entering her seventh pro basketball season, a wild and rewarding ride she never saw coming.

“Just thinking about it is so crazy to me. It has gone by so fast,” Moore told me. “Seven seasons is pretty amazing and I am very proud of myself.”

She should be.

Moore, of Colony High fame, has carved out an illustrious hoops career in which she became one of the most successful – if not the most successful – basketball players from Alaska.

In high school she led her teams to the championship game all four years, netting two ASAA titles. In college she helped the University of Connecticut capture three NCAA titles. In the pros she reached the WNBA Finals two years ago, losing the decisive Game 5 in the final five minutes.

Had she won, Moore would have become the first Alaska player to win basketball titles at the high school, college and pro level.

Others have been close, but nobody has been closer than her (although Mario Chalmers of Anchorage is closing in fast).

At 28, Moore seems to be getting better with age. Here’s proof:

First 112 Games / Next 63 Games

PPG 2.9 / 4.0

RPG 2.1 / 2.9

FG% .405 / .452

FT% .694 / .776

“I think it’s just about trying to better yourself every year,” she said. “And with the Fever I have had more opportunities to make an impact.”

Her free-throw percentage has seen the most significant increase since her arrival with the Fever in 2009 after stops in Los Angeles and Charlotte. Decent before, Moore is straight money from the charity stripe these days.

“I would say it’s something that I have tried to work on,” she said.

Moore is returning to the court after missing the Euroleague winter season with a knee injury. It’s all good now, though.

“I feel good,” she said. “I was fortunate to have very good trainers working with me in the offseason, so I really didn’t lose any strength.”

That’s good because the fabulous Fever still have the weapons to make another title run.

“It would be amazing to get back and win a championship this year,” Moore said. “I think we have a great team right now and if we stay focused and just take it one game at a time everything will work itself out.”