Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Aaliyah Moore is on top of her game after missing part of 2022-2023 season

Naina Srivastava
Sophomore forward Aaliyah Moore shoots the ball during Texas’ game against Kansas on Jan. 16. Texas won 91-56.

It was the first quarter of a non-conference game against Alabama State. In a drive to the basket, Texas forward Aaliyah Moore hit the floor. That would be her final play of the season, as the program announced Moore had torn her ACL.

Moore made her comeback in the U.S. Virgin Islands, 348 days later.

In her return against High Point in the Paradise Jam tournament over Thanksgiving break, Moore scored in the double digits. Following her impressive performance, Moore had 12 appearances off the bench before getting her first start since the injury against Kansas State. This season, Moore has averaged 9.3 points a game.

“There is no seminar that you take as a coach that prepares you for this,” head coach Vic Schaefer said after Moore’s teammate Rori Harmon got injured this season. “I love these kids like they’re my own, and it’s very difficult. I lost Aaliyah Moore last year, and it was devastating.”

Moore and Harmon were part of the same recruiting class, and, while Harmon was the No. 10 recruit in 2021, Moore was No. 6. The two players didn’t get many chances to play together due to both of their injuries, but Harmon described her teammate as “another heartbeat for the team.”

Prior to her injury, Moore had been a key player for her team. Despite only playing nine games in the 2022-2023 season, she scored 101 points and averaged over 11 points per game. Moore started in every game she played, but her next start wouldn’t come until thirteen months later.

While she was out for the season, Schaefer tried to coach her through the injury and encourage her while still working with other players and trying to find a way to win with the team he had left.

“(My job) …  is to put them in the best position to continue to be successful and … trying to get (her) healthy,” Schaefer said.

A couple of weeks before the start of the 2023 season, Moore had been cleared for non-contact and some half-court contact practice.

“She’s getting more and more comfortable,” Schaefer said in October. “Certainly when you have those types of injuries, you’re never pain-free.”

Against Kansas at the Moody Center on Tuesday night, Moore got her second start of the season and thrived.

“When we recruited her, my vision for her was (to play) like tonight,” Schaefer said. “She’s had some adversity, so it’s not easy. Unless you go through (that) you just have no idea, it’s not just the physical but the mental piece too. When you’re not active you build up so much rust, you don’t just wake up one morning and go back to your old self.”

On her 21st birthday, Moore scored 17 points over the Jayhawks and went 7–7 in field goals, helping her team to secure the dominant 91-56 victory. 

“She brings a lot to this team,” freshman forward Madison Booker said. “I’m just so happy to have her back. She’s definitely getting the rust off, and the old Aaliyah’s coming back.”

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