Moore retires quietly, finds new job [Basketball]

July 9, 2013
Jessica Moore

Today is Jessica Moore’s birthday.

At 31, however, in the world’s best women’s basketball league, birthdays are probably welcomed like turnovers and missed free throws.

Age has finally caught up with Moore, a 6-foot-3 center from Palmer, who was waived earlier this week by the Washington Mystics. The good news is that she stayed on with the team by joining the basketball operations staff as an assistant.

The bad news is that it likely signifies her retirement after nine professional seasons.

Moore, of Colony High, has been our greatest women’s basketball player.

She’s had the longest professional career, scored the most points, grabbed the most rebounds and won the most NCAA championships. She played in the WNBA Finals and three national championship games. She played in Turkey and Russia, arguably the toughest European leagues.

A defensive stalwart, Moore was never a big scorer. She made her impact in the paint, where she guarded taller players, fought for rebounds and absorbed body checks.

Moore played in 223 WNBA games, earning 61 starts. She scored 644 career points and grabbed 451 rebounds. She played in 27 career playoff games, reaching the 2009 WNBA Finals, where the Indiana Fever lost in the deciding Game 5.

The game was tied with four minutes to play, but it got away, leaving her just short of becoming the first Alaska basketball player to win championships at the high school, college and pro levels.

Still, Moore enjoyed her fair share of championships as part of the UConn dynasty, where she played for legendary coach Geno Auriemma and won NCAA titles in in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

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Her UConn teams won 70 straight games at one point.

She didn’t miss a game in her college career, playing all 145.

She finished her UConn career ranked third all-time in field-goal percentage [.584].

Game over.