Moore starting anew
To this day, more than 11 years later, Ricky Moore still is remembered for one magical night in UConn basketball history.
Wherever he goes.
"Every time I go somewhere somebody recognizes my face and they always say that I won them a whole lot of money on the championship game or lost them a whole lot of money," Moore said.
Now Moore, who played perhaps the best game of his career in UConn's shocking 77-74 win over Duke for the program's first national championship in 1999, is beginning a new chapter in his basketball career as an assistant coach on Paul Cormier's staff at Dartmouth.
It's been a busy first month on the job. After returning home from traveling the country during the July recruiting period, he's preparing to move from Charlotte, N.C. - his home for the last 10 years - to New Hampshire.
When reached earlier this week to talk about his new job and returning to Connecticut to play in the Jim Calhoun Charity All-Star Basketball Game on Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun, Moore, 34, was shopping for furniture with his wife, Heather, and two children, 1-year-old Ricky Jr., and Kendyll, who'll turn 4 this month.
"I'm thrilled to have a chance to start at an Ivy League school," Moore said. "Rumor has it was over 25 guys interviewing for the job. It's a blessing (Cormier) gave me the chance. He's the first person to take a chance on me. I've been sending resumes out for the last three years."
A persistent Moore put on the full-court press to get his first college coaching job. He applied for UConn's assistant coaching vacancy before Calhoun hired Kevin Ollie.
Calhoun contacted Cormier on Moore's behalf about the Dartmouth opening. Already deep into the interviewing process, Cormier offered the job to someone else but the candidate turned it down.
"I told him I'd love to have the job," Moore said. "I kept calling him and harassing him. He told me that he wanted to meet face to face."
On the way to an AAU tournament, Cormier stopped to interview Moore in the Charlotte airport and hired him in early July.
Adjusting to the hectic schedule will be no problem for Moore. Since leaving UConn in 1999, he played in the Ukraine, Turkey, Germany, Sweden and finally Austria the last two years, ending his playing career in June.
Moore, a native of Augusta, Ga., is the third former Husky to be hired as a first-time assistant coach this summer, joining Donyell Marshall at George Washington and Ollie at UConn.
"I don't know the reason behind it," Moore said. "It seems a lot of guys from UConn are getting into it. For me, I love coaching. I've done it with the boys' and girls' club in Augusta and also AAU in Charlotte as an assistant with the Charlotte Royals.
"I really enjoyed it when I did it and I just want to continue."
Central Connecticut State University coach Howie Dickenman, who was an assistant on coach Calhoun's staff when Moore played point guard for the Huskies, believes that Moore has the right personality to succeed.
"He has leadership qualities as well as a point guard mentality," Dickenman said. "And he's tenacious. Just ask (Duke's) Trajan Langdon. He'll tell you."
Langdon was on the losing side in the 1999 national championship game during which Moore played 37 minutes, finishing with 13 points, eight rebounds, two assists and a steal. And Moore made a key defensive play, forcing Langdon to travel in the closing seconds.
Don't expect Moore to play tenacious defense Saturday. He's looking to play limited minutes. It will be his first Calhoun Charity All-Star game appearance since 2004.
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