Before graduating in 2005, Ari Moore had the opportunity to experience two Atlantic Ten Conference championships in 2002 and 2004.
Though she’s been done with classes at Temple, she is frequently back on campus or with the women’s basketball team during road games.
Moore was in attendance Sunday at Saint Joseph’s Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, when the No. 1-seeded Owls knocked off No. 5 Dayton, 56-51 in the A-10 Tournament semifinals.
“It’s definitely a different perspective [for me],” Moore said while standing in the bleachers after Temple’s win, holding her son, Madden, who will be two-years-old at the end of the month. “But it’s still exciting, and I’m just happy I’m able to be a part of it in some form or fashion.”
As for what Moore is doing when she’s not in the crowd for Temple games, there are a few primary things.
“I’ve been raising my son,” and going to New York Knicks games to support her fiancée Mardy Collins, a 2006 Temple graduate, Moore said. The couple plans to get married in the summer of 2009.
“We live in New York, and we come to Philly for the off-season,” she said.
The players, particularly the seniors, appreciate seeing the faces of former players.
“Ari Moore comes to practice with us, [and] plays with us in the summertime,” senior guard Ashley Morris said after the victory. “She’s very supportive, and it’s good to have somebody like that behind you that’s been through it and dealt with the same things you did and has won A-10 championships, so she gives us a lot being out there.
Morris said 2006 graduate Khadija Bowens and 2005 graduates Jennifer Owens and Cynthia Jordan, who is now a graduate assistant on the team, are often in attendance at Owls games as well.
“We have a real support system behind us,” Morris said.
Moore said she definitely still feels like she’s on the team.
“It’s kind of like I’m still alive because this is actually my last class I played with,” she said about the team’s current seniors, Morris, Lady Comfort, Nicole Pittman and Candice Borrows.
“It’s kind of like I’m still part of it because my legacy lives on through them. Our team’s [legacy] I guess …We all kind of live it through them,” Moore said, referring to herself and other members of the 2005 Owls squad including Jordan and Candice Dupree, a 2005 graduate and current member of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky.
Over the course of the A-10 Tournament, the women’s basketball team has flaunted shirts reading, “REPO”.
The explanation is simple. The four letters stand for repossession of the A-10 trophy.
“Every year we wear a long-sleeve T-shirt to our tournament,” Temple coach Dawn Staley explained, referring back to last year’s “Owls don’t sleep, we rest one eye up” shirts. “We just have fun with it. We have a brainstorming competition to see who could come up with a good concept.”
Mary [Wooley], our director of basketball operations, came up with [REPO], and then we got a banner with it,” Staley said. “We feel like if we don’t instill confidence in ourselves, or have somebody else to do it, we’ll never get it.
“It’s our concept of motivating ourselves, keeping ourselves at a high level.”
But when Staley and her coaching staff sat in the stands to watch the Xavier-George Washington game, they had changed to shirts that read, “History repeats itself,” with A-10 banners from 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2006 running down the sleeves.
Following the win, Morris revealed freshman guard Lindsey Kimmel’s unique ritual heading before game time.
“I asked Lindsey before the game ‘was she ready?’” Morris said. “She said, ‘one more candy bar and I’ll be ready, Ash,’ so I knew Lindsey was going to come out and have a great game.”
What kind of candy prepared Kimmel for nailing 4-of-7 treys?
“I love Starburst, but one of the girls on the team had a bunch of candy bars in a bag,” Kimmel said. “I was eating Hershey’s [before this game]. I always have a ton of candy before the game[s].”
Also in the game, the day after the leak in the roof delayed the schedule, the Fieldhouse’s scoreboards couldn’t go without having at least one problem.
The large scoreboard over the middle of the court and the ones off to the sides of the arena, as well as the shot clocks on each basket turned off just over four minutes into the game. They went back on during a timeout, turned off again for about 10 seconds, and then remained on.
There were no further problems.