Lady Bears star forward shines in senior year

Published 6:00 am Friday, March 23, 2018

The Keith Lady Bears basketball team made it to the Final Four of the 2018 AHSAA Class 2A state tournament, and senior forward Shatavia Moore was a big reason they made it that far.

Moore’s versatility and size gave her an advantage on the court that allowed her to take over ball games. She was the primary scorer, rebounder and leader for the Lady Bears on their journey to Birmingham this past season.

“She was just complete,” Keith head coach Cecil Williams said. “If I needed anything, I had a player I could put at any position. That was a benefit of having her. The team fed off of whatever she did.”

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The Lady Bears won the area tournament championship on the road against R.C. Hatch, and Moore was the tournament MVP.

In the regional semi-finals, Moore had a double-double night with 19 points and 10 rebounds against Southern Choctaw. She came up one rebound shy of the double-double in the regional finals with a 24 point, nine rebound game against R.C. Hatch, and left Montgomery with the regional tournament MVP award.

Moore averaged 16.4 points per game in her fifth year playing for the Lady Bears, and has been selected as the Times-Journal’s 2018 Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

“I wasn’t expecting for me to win,” she said. “When I found out, I felt like I achieved something that I wasn’t expecting.”

Moore has already earned a spot on the Times-Journal’s all-county team this year, and she was also selected to the ASWA Class 2A all-state second team.

“She earned it because she put in the work,” Williams said. “She did her job and deserves all the credit that she got. She put in the time during practice and over the summer, and it has paid off.”

Moore has come a long way from when she was first thrust into the Lady Bears starting lineup as an eighth grader. At the time, she was filling in for an injured player and lacked confidence in her game.

“I wasn’t as good as I am now,” she said. “I was doubting myself and felt like I couldn’t do it. At first, I couldn’t really dribble or shoot, but as I kept playing every year I got better.”

Since that first year, Moore has evolved into a complete player. The 5-foot-7 forward was exceptional at finding gaps in the middle of the defense where she could drive into the lane for layups. Missed shots turned into rebounds and put back opportunities for her. She controlled the offense and dictated the pace of the game.

On top of her skills, Moore also grew as a leader of the team. She found ways to encourage her teammates and become the leader she needed to be to help the team win.

“It was a great thing to see her grow from a young kid to leading the team,” Williams said. “Seeing her grow over the years makes me proud to see her realize that she understood what I was teaching.”

Even though her high school basketball career is over, Moore plans to continue playing in college. At the beginning of the season, she was offered a full scholarship to Wallace Community College Selma. She had interest from other schools like Lawson State, Tuskegee University and Coastal Alabama, but she decided that WCCS was the best place for her.

“All the other schools didn’t give me a full scholarship,” she said. “Wallace gave me a full scholarship, so I took what was best for me. Basketball is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m good at it, so why stop?”