Friday Flashback: Moore reaches 2009 WNBA Finals with Fever

July 31, 2020

Jessica Moore

Palmer’s Jessica Moore was a winner at every level of her basketball career and in 2009 almost became the first Alaskan to win championships at the high school, college and professional level.

The Indiana Fever advanced to the best-of-5 WNBA Finals against the Phoenix Mercury, losing 93-86 in a decisive Game 5 that was tied 80-80 late in the fourth quarter. That’s how close Moore was to winning a WNBA title.

Moore, of Colony High fame, was a two-time state champion with the Knights in high school and then went on to win three NCAA championships with the University of Connecticut.

The 6-foot-3 forward/center played nine years in the WNBA – the most among the five Alaskans to lace ‘em up in the premier women’s basketball league.

Moore was a defensive stalwart; strong enough to guard bigger centers in the post and quick enough to defend smaller forwards on the wing. Defense was her calling card and the reason she stretched her pro career to almost a decade.

She came off the bench for the Indiana in 2009 and averaged 5 points and 3 rebounds per game while shooting a career-best 48 percent from the field.

Moore ranks second among Alaskans in the WNBA with 644 points and 450 rebounds in 222 games. Her 22 playoff appearances in No. 1 in state history by a mile.

She reached the Western Conference Finals in 2006 and 2008 with the Los Angeles Sparks, and the 2009 WNBA Finals with Indiana. She also reached the playoffs in 2010 and 2011 with the Connecticut Sun.

Friday Flashback is a series created by Alaska Sports Hall of Fame blog editor Van Williams that looks back on great Alaska athletes from the past. To read about other Alaskans featured in this series, click here.