Moore to be inducted into Hall of Fame
Former Francis Marion University women’s basketball great Pearl Moore has been named to the 2021 induction class for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. The announcement was made on ESPN on Sunday .
Moore, who was voted in by the Women’s Veterans Committee, joins ninth-winningest coach in NBA history Rick Adelman; two-time NBA champion and 11-time NBA All-Star Chris Bosh; NBA Finals MVP and 10-time NBA All-Star Paul Pierce; the first Black NBA head coach Bill Russell; two-time NCAA national champion Villanova coach Jay Wright; seven-time WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Yolanda Griffith; seven-time WNBA All-Star and three-time WNBA Most Valuable Player Lauren Jackson; four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace; five-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber; 2-time NBA Champion and 4-time NBA All-Star Bob Drandridge; founding President of the WNBA, the first female President of USA Basketball, and current Commissioner of the BIG EAST Val Ackerman; co-founder and director of Five-Star Basketball Camps and creator of Basketball Illustrated Howard Garfinkel; captain of the legendary New York Rens and 8-time Colored Basketball World Champion in the 1920’s and 30’s Clarence “Fats” Jenkins, 3-time NBA champion and 3-time EuroLeague MVP Toni Kukoc; and 2-time NBA Coach of the Year and 1-of-15 NBA coaches with 800 or more victories Cotton Fitzsimmons. The Class of 2021 Enshrinement ceremony is scheduled to take place Sept. 9-11. Moore, a native of Florence, becomes the second inductee with ties to Francis Marion – joining her former coach Sylvia Hatchell – and only the third native South Carolinian to earn induction, joining Columbia’s Alex English and Charleston’s Katrina McClain.
“I am terribly humbled by this honor,” Moore said after learning of her induction earlier this week. “Who could have dreamt that playing hoops in the yard with my brothers and sisters could lead to me being recognized with the who’s who of the game of basketball. I am so excited to join my coach (Sylvia Hatchell) in the Naismith Hall of Fame and equally proud to represent my school and hometown by receiving this honor. A myriad of people along the way are responsible for my induction, including family, friends, teachers, coaches, and teammates. Basketball is a team sport and I truly share this award with all of them
” A 5-7 guard-forward, Moore played for Francis Marion between 1976 and 1979 and earned a B.S. degree in sociology in 1979. She is a graduate of Wilson High School.
A four-time All-American, her career point total of 4,061 career points still remains the all-time record for women’s college basketball. A point total that was compiled during an era that did not have a three-point line. She was named the 1979 American Women’s Sports Foundation Small College Player of the Year. She was a finalist for the 1978 Wade Trophy and was selected the 1978-79 South Carolina Amateur Athlete of the Year.
Moore averaged 30.6 points per game over her four seasons at Francis Marion, and helped lead coach Hatchell’s program to an 85-42 record and three national tournament appearances. She scored below 20 points only 18 times in her 127-game Francis Marion career, and reached the 50-point mark on three occasions. She scored 1,109 points in her junior year alone.
In addition to her point total, Moore grabbed 1,270 rebounds and shot 45.9 percent from the field and a then school-record 70.0 percent from the free-throw line.
During her junior year, she scored a then single-game record 60 points in a 114-71 victory over Eastern Washington State College in the 1978 AIAW Small College National Tournament. I
n her final collegiate game, March 10, 1979, in an AIAW Small College Regional Tournament consolation game against the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, she scored 42 points to break the previous all-time record of 4,045 set by Travis Grant of Kentucky State University. She held both the men’s and women’s career records for seven years until a pair of male players from David Lipscomb University would surpass her total.
Following her career at Francis Marion, Moore went on to play two seasons in the Women's Pro Basketball League (1979-80 with the New York Stars and 1980-81 with the St. Louis Streak), earning All-Star status in 1981, and one season in Venezuela.
Moore still resides in Florence, has participated in numerous FMU Alumni Games, and has conducted a summer basketball camp for area youth. In 2018, the City of Florence named its new recreation center located on Barnes Street in her honor.
Moore was previously enshrined in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, the Florence Area Athletic Hall of Fame, and FMU Athletic Hall of Fame.
Moore started her collegiate career at Anderson Junior College in the fall of 1975. After one semester at Anderson (eight games and 177 points), she transferred to Francis Marion. Fortunately, the Patriots did not open their cage season until after the first of the year, and thus Moore played the entire 1975-76 Francis Marion schedule. At that time under Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) rules, a player could transfer and be eligible immediately. Her career point total includes the points scored at Anderson, because at that time in women's basketball, two- and four-year schools regularly competed against each other and all results counted.
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame museum is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history.