Going the Distance

April 10, 2012








Paris Moore '12
Paris Moore '12 gives her all in San Antonio. (Photo by NCAA Photos)

The roar of the crowd. The sting of the bright lights. The weight of the moment. These are just a few things Paris Moore ’12 will always remember about stepping on the court at the NCAA Division II Final Four game on March 21 in San Antonio. “I hit the hard wood of the court and thought ‘it’s game time,’” Moore reminisced. “We had nothing to lose—nobody thought we’d make it that far.”
 
That sentiment, perhaps, is what has made their 87-71 loss at the hands of Shaw University, which went on to secure the national championship title, somewhat palatable—every step of the way, at every opportunity, the team exceeded the expectations of their fans and their rivals. We knew we were good, but other people didn’t know we were good,” said Moore, a psychology major. “It felt so good to show people how great we could be.”
 
And great they were. Rollins entered the postseason ranked fifteenth but finished fifth in the final WBCA Division II poll. The ranking is the Tars’ highest in program history with the previous best at No. 6 during the 2000-01 season.
 
“We felt so honored and so humbled to have gone as far as we did. It really took our breath away,” said Kourtnie Berry ’12, an elementary education major who plays guard. “But I also felt we were supposed to be there. We deserved to be there. A lot of teams in our conference didn’t really think we would make it this far. We were doubted and disrespected, but we just kept plowing through.”
 
Ask the players and coaches to explain the team’s success and you’ll hear words like “chemistry” and “drive” thrown around. “We had talent, leadership, and chemistry,” said Glenn Wilkes, the team’s head coach. “We also had five seniors who understood the sacrifices that would have to be made to get that far. They really bought in—they all wanted to have a great senior year.”
 
Those seniors—Moore along with Berry, Jasmine Bradley ’12, Kristina Mingos ’12, Julie Gorman ’12—have all played together since their freshmen year. They’ll all graduate this May, an event Moore calls bittersweet. “I’m ready for the next phase of my life but I’m really sad my basketball career is coming to an end,” she said. “Everybody loves each other on and off the court. We’re always together and not just something because we’re on a team. We actually care about each other.”
 
She couldn’t be leaving on a higher note, a fact that’s not lost on Moore or any of the seniors graduating next month. “We’ll forever go down as one of the greatest women’s basketball teams in Rollins history,” she said. “There’s no greater legacy to leave behind.”
 

 

By Kristen Manieri

Office of Marketing & Communications
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