Kiana Moore: Handling More


University of Utah senior guard Kiana Moore (0) takes a layup during an NCAA Basketball game vs. the University of Oregon at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. (Photo by Jalen Pace | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Ryker Jackson, Sports Writer


Meet Kiana Moore, the captain of the University of Utah women’s basketball team. Last year, she was a Pac-12 all defensive honorable mention, averaging 9.2 points in 27.9 minutes per game, and she ranked seventh in the conference in 3-point shooting percentage.

Moore has been playing basketball her entire life. In fact, she said that she started playing at three years old at the Air Force base where her parents were stationed.

Her journey in the sport was not always smooth, however. She said that at one point, her mom thought she wasn’t good enough at basketball and put her in golf instead. Of course, this didn’t last. Luckily, the local coaches saw potential in Moore and convinced her to keep playing basketball.

When preparing for games, Moore said that she doesn’t have any specific pregame rituals, but she does pray for herself and her team.

“The first thing I do on game day is pray. I pray for my safety, I pray for my family, and the safety of my teammates as well.” Other than that, she says she just tries to relax and listen to music all day to prepare mentally for the game.

Senior Night at the University of Utah celebrating senior gaurd Kiana Moore’s (0) accomplishments at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Photo by Kenny Taboada | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Basketball has played a pivotal role in Moore’s life, and she thinks her life would be very different without it. “I’d probably be in the military,” Moore said.

She credits basketball with giving her the motivation to put academics first and prepare for college play.


Even though Moore is a team captain and a natural leader — a quality she learned from her parents — she remains humble.

“People say, ‘you’re the captain, you’re the leader,’ but like I tell the freshmen, sophomores and juniors, you have a word on everything, too. Don’t feel like just because I’m a captain that you can’t say anything. I give my team confidence about themselves to be able to help our team out.”

She said that sometimes she can be a bit more aggressive during practices because she wants her team to succeed, but that she gives everyone the chance to take on that leadership responsibility

“That’s what brings us so close together,” she said. “Everyone wants to succeed.”

Under head coach Lynne Roberts’ leadership, the team has become incredibly close over the last two years. She said that there are no fights or arguments as a team, which is rare in any team environment.

She wouldn’t be where she is today, however, without her parents, who she credits as her biggest role models.

“They pushed me to be the woman that I am today,” she said. “I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs throughout my college career, and they always told me to stick it out and never give up on something you believe in, and I believe in this program.”


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