A Real Team Player

The following story appears in the April 16th edition of the University Times


By Stephanie Corriveau

 We're all passionate about something.  For Reneé Moore, that something is basketball.  Although it's early spring and the basketball season finished several weeks ago, the basketball spirit continues to live on for Moore.  And this spirit has been a part of her now for many years. Moore's experiences with basketball started at an early age.

"I've been playing basketball since I was 7 or 8," Moore said.

A sophomore from Lisbon, Maine, Moore has been a part of the UMPI basketball team for the past two years.  She has been in the position of post player.  Moore has greatly enjoyed playing for the team. But unfortunately, she may not be able to continue being a member next season.  She has a medical condition called scoliosis.  Moore explained that instead of having a usual "S-shaped spine," hers is "C-shaped."  She said that playing basketball was painful, but will soon have surgery to help with her scoliosis.  Moore first found out that she had this condition when she was in sixth grade.

"They told me not to worry about it, but it started to become a problem by eighth grade," Moore said.

Although she was given a back brace to wear, Moore said that it wasn't of much assistance.  Once she reached high school, her physicians began to recommend surgery.  She didn't want this to happen, though, because she knew it would affect basketball.

"I'd have to stop playing after I got surgery," Moore said.

Moore said that the physicians continued to watch over her scoliosis.  They again recommended the surgery at the end of high school, but she wanted to continue pursuing her love for basketball.  After a difficult time playing at UMPI with scoliosis, Moore felt she might have to go ahead with the surgery.

"This past December, I knew it was about time," Moore said.

Moore said that one of her doctors thinks the surgery will prevent her from playing while the other told her it was her decision to make.  She feels that she won't be able to continue.  Moore is quite optimistic about her condition, though.  She's extremely grateful for the time she has spent playing, and for the wonderful coaches she has had and the excellent athletic training staff who've assisted her.

"I've learned a lot just getting the chance to play two years of college," Moore said.

Moore is a true team player as well.  She has enjoyed interacting with all of her teammates.  In addition, she said that she has been blessed to be on the team with her sister, Emily, and her cousin, Amber Cloutier

"I couldn't have asked for a better group to share the experience with," Moore said.

Moore's coach, Marc Heidorf, speaks highly of his player.

"Renee is the type of player that every team should be lucky to have," Heidorf said.

She puts a lot of effort into her game and Heidorf has said that even though she might be in pain, you wouldn't be able to tell. 

"She's not a complainer," Heidorf said.

Moore had told Heidorf that she was going to have surgery, and he said that he had an idea that this might be her last season.  Heidorf could identify with her since he also had scoliosis.  He also shared that some of Moore's teammates didn't know about her condition.  Heidorf believes that having found out about it, though, serves as a source of inspiration.

"They've learned to appreciate the game a little better," Heidorf said.

Heidorf also feels that next season, the team will think about Moore's dedication to the game.  They might be reminded of how much Moore loves the sport and would want to continue playing, and will want to respect her by giving it their all.

"That'll be a rallying point next year," Heidorf said.

Heidorf believes that people should not be necessarily sad that Moore has to have the surgery.  Rather, he said they should consider how much the operation will help her to take part in activities she might not have been able to participate in.

"This is a happy story," Heidorf said.

Please keep Moore in mind as she prepares for surgery.  And as Moore has done, be sure to keep the basketball spirit alive!  There's no doubt that her passion for the sport will continue to prevail.