Chris Moore cuts the ribbon for the court named after his father. Pictured are his sister, Candace (l), and his mother, Sharon, who is holding Moore's 1-year-old daughter, Mia.
Countless hours playing basketball on the court at Warwick High School, many in the shadow of his father, couldn’t prepare Thomas Nelson men’s coach Chris Moore for this moment.
Before a crowd of more than 200 people, including many of his father’s former players, assistant coaches and coaching rivals, the court was named in honor of the late Ben Moore on Nov. 13.
“I think I got all my emotions out before the game,” said Chris, who visited his dad’s gravesite earlier in the day.
The elder Moore was a well-known and well-respected area basketball coach. He spent 24 years coaching the boys team at Warwick before stepping down following the 2010-11 season. A few years later, he was named the boys coach at Menchville, and had just started his fourth season with the Monarchs when he died Dec. 9, 2017.
At one point in Saturday’s ceremony, those in attendance were asked to stand if Ben Moore had influenced their lives. Nearly everyone stood and clapped.
"That’s just him,” Chris said of his dad. “I want to say I was in shock, but I think because I know how many people came up to him on a daily basis … and the stories I remember him telling. His impact was felt, and I’m glad that they were all here to experience and see it firsthand.”
Following the ceremony, the Gators, who usually play their home games at Bethel High School, christened the new court with a 100-74 victory over Bryant & Stratton. Chris Moore said it was special coaching the first game on the renamed court. And it was appropriate he was coaching Thomas Nelson, as father and son often discussed Chris’ goal of coaching the Gators.
“I’m just honored to have been raised by such a great man,” said Moore, who made a vow to his father about nine years ago that he would do all he could to have the court named after him.
The Gators (3-0) started the season last weekend with two victories in the Mid-Atlantic Christian University tournament. They return to action Nov. 20 with a home against Community Christian College. The rest of their home games will be played at Bethel High School. Students are admitted for free if they show their ID, and children under 12 are free. General admission tickets are $8, and the cost for faculty and staff with ID is $5.
Get Information about the team at www.tncc.edu.