Gerald Arthur Moore was anything but your stereotypical basketball player. In fact, Art, as he preferred to be called, didn’t do anything that I’d deem typical. Unlike my other players, Art had experienced a lot of “life” before he arrived at Crandall University so this wasn’t his first time being away from home like most of the guys. Art had been in the military and wasn’t afraid of a book that didn’t have pictures in it. Art was very much an intellectual, a renaissance man if you will amongst an ocean of numbskulls. (coach included in this one I’m afraid. Luckily I got over the picture book thing.) I learned a lot from Art and all of shared life experiences.
I eventually learned to trust Art when it came how to proceed with the team. He had a great feel for where guys were at mentally and he physically. Art was natural leader for this team. His actions would speak louder than any words could.no matter the task he put his all into it.. He became my eyes and ears in the locker room and knew who was going through a difficult time or if they should get put on full blast by the coach. The first game Art felt he knew what the team needed to do made question my sanity and judgment though.
We were playing Bethany Bible College (Now known as Kingswood University) in Sussex. We had a very dominant team during that season as we were preparing to enter the ACAA and competition would be a serious jump up. We typically would blow out Bethany but not on this night.
We were playing with no energy, no fire , ho heart and no passion. I was at my wits end by mid 3rd quarter and we needed a lift. Luckily Bethany called a time out. I was about to give “the talk” but before I could say anything Art ran to me and asked if he could take this huddle. At this point in time, I couldn’t see why not. Maybe hearing from a veteran player who’s busting his ass on the floor would get a serious message across. As I stood back and Art took charge of the circle, I wasn’t ready for what was next. Art, snorted the longest loudest snort he could and blew a giant snot rocket onto the floor. My heart sunk and I immediately began thinking of places I might be able to coach next. The show wasn’t over though folks. Art had plans for some team bonding!
Pointing at the slime rocket he looks at his teammates and demanded they bark at it. Art animatedly barked at the booger. He was barking and yelling demanding for his team to join him. Out of what I’m sure was pure fear, the team slowly started to join in. Soon we had 15 people barking at thegross mess on the floor. I’m still running through coaching options in my mind thinking that going back to house league might not be to bad a switch! Just like that the horn rang, they stopped barking and took the floor. Art cleaned up his mess and said “Thanks coach! We needed that!” To this day, I never doubt Art Moore. He couldn’t have been more correct. It unified us and gave the team a necessary shot in the arm in the most unique way by the most unique player I’ve ever coached.