Briana Moore: ‘The Y has made me who I am today’

Briana Moore was wrapping a breakthrough sophomore season at Bridgewater College when she felt a familiar pop in her left knee.

The torn ACL, her second in three years, has her on the mend this spring and summer. But Moore, a graduate of the Waynesboro Lady X-Plosions AAU program at the Waynesboro YMCA, is not afraid of the hard work that is to come.

“I think it will be easier to work through this one. I know what to expect. I know how hard I can push myself,” said Moore, who averaged 14.7 points per game as a sophomore at Bridgewater, after putting up 11.5 points per game as a freshman in 2015-2016.

Her success at the college level comes many years after a “rough” start to her basketball career, which began when her parents signed her up for rec-league ball at the YMCA when she was 7.

“Those first two years were a little rough, just learning the game. I wasn’t very good. But by my third year, it sort of clicked for me. I fell in love with the game,” said Moore, who made the AAU team as a 10-year-old and played in the program under Coach John Spears through the end of her high-school career.

She attributes her growth and development as a basketball player to her hours of sweat equity put in at the Y.

“The hard-work value that the Y instills has made me the player that I am today,” Moore said. “The concept that the time that you put in, the hard work you put in, is what you get out, that’s ingrained in you there. You start getting that early with Coach Spears in his youth league programs, and it’s something that is emphasized consistently as you get older.”

Moore is working toward a career in coaching that you can say has already begun. Beginning in the summer of her freshman year in high school, she started working as a counselor in the summer youth basketball camp at the Y, and by her senior year she was a camp director.

“One day, I would like to pursue coaching at whatever level I can, hopefully at the college level, eventually,” Moore said. “I really enjoy coaching younger children and showing them how to play basketball, and instilling in them the values that were instilled in me from the Y.”

When school is done this spring, she’ll be back at the Y “pretty much every day this summer, either lifting or shooting or coaching, helping Coach Spears out wherever he needs me.”

“The Y has been very influential in my life, so every opportunity I have to give back, I try to give back,” Moore said.

“The Y is a very positive place to grow up. The camps and the programs that the Y offers keeps kids active and out of trouble. It’s a very good way to spend your time. Not only is it fun because it’s basketball, but you’re learning life lessons along the way as well.

“I plan to spend as much time as I can giving back,” Moore said. “And hopefully my children can go there one day, if I still live in Waynesboro, or to the YMCA wherever I end up. That’s how important the Y is to me.”

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