There are millions of perks that come with being an athlete: playing in front of rocking arenas, gaining that feeling of having a true family and the glitz and glamour of the spot light. But just as any part of life, just as the benefits flood in, a dam gets constructed and the flow is halted. That dam in an athlete’s life is injury and it plagues the majority of individuals who compete in sports. Terilyn Moe, T Moe for short, has been on the wrong end of the body health battle for the majority of her career with the Nevada Wolf Pack women’s basketball team. But even though she’s sat out for three seasons in her Nevada career, her outlook is optimistic and her perseverance through the years has been nothing but admirable.
Moe was born just a few minutes outside of San Francisco in Daly City, California, where she lived with her three older brothers and her parents. The lot was obsessed with sports, with Moe’s mother being a college volleyball coach.
“I was a tom boy for sure,” said Moe. “My parents were really into sports, so that’s basically all I did. I was a gym rat.”
Like many kids growing up before society was addicted to technology, Moe seemed to have her hand in every sport possible. The two constants being basketball and volleyball. From the jump Moe played volleyball because, well, if your mother wants you to do something, you do it, no questions asked.
“My mom was a college volleyball coach and she really liked volleyball,” Moe said. “It was kind of natural for me but I didn’t like it.”
With her growing distaste for volleyball the decision was clear. Moe turned to the passions she found on her own at four years old while playing at her local Boys and Girls Club.
“It honestly wasn’t that hard because I didn’t like volleyball,” Moe said. “It was too slow of a game. Wasn’t as aggressive so I stuck with basketball.”
From the Boys and Girls Club, Moe began playing AAU basketball for Oscar Jimenez. Jimenez helped Moe and other teens get off the streets and be productive with their free time. Moe used her club basketball experience to truly hone in on her basketball skills. She then attended Terra Nova High School in Pacifica, California, where she led the team to four conference championships, was named MVP four times and four-time Peninsula Athletic League first team all-league.
Highly touted coming out of high school, Moe decided the University of Nevada was her best fit, as she started playing for the Wolf Pack during the 2012-2013 season.
Moe’s ’12-’13 campaign looked promising as she opened her first ever collegiate game with 20 points against Cal State Fullerton. In the 12 games she played she knocked down 73 percent of her foul shots, handed out 15 assists and put up 18 steals. However, her inaugural season at Nevada came to a screeching halt on New Year’s Eve at Wake Forest. She tore her ACL in her left knee and just like that her freshman season ended.
“It was a really rough time for me,” said Moe. “It was my first time being away. The only time I’ve ever had basketball taken away from me. With that there was a blessing. I found the lord and really I was able to find my faith in that.”
Moe began rehabbing her knee as soon as possible, with hopes of playing through her full sophomore season with the Pack. Her second season with Nevada went over much better than her first, and she started 24 games of the 31 she played. She averaged 10.9 points a game, was an Academic All-Mountain West honoree and avenged her previous season by putting up a career best 23 points against Wake Forest.
Junior year rolled around and Nevada women’s basketball was looking poised to be a stellar squad. Moe got four games into the season before tearing her ACL in her right knee against San Francisco two days before Thanksgiving. At this point Moe was averaging 16 points game, averaged 6.3 rebounds and recorded the program’s first triple-double in the team’s home opener.
“That one was really hard because we predicted to have a break out season and we were doing well,” said Moe. “I had that triple-double in the first game of the season and then two games later I’m out for the year.”
Just like that, Moe lost another year to the exact same injury a couple years prior, just on a different leg this time around. The odds were stacking against her, but she went through with the rehabilitation process, looking forward to playing again the next season.
Her next season looked as if it could be just as good as her sophomore year, but injury struck again and Moe didn’t even touch the court during regular season play. She tore her ACL in her right knee again during a scrimmage on Nevada Day against UC Davis.
“That one was probably the hardest mentally,” Moe said. “Is this a game for me? Or not. I’ve played one season so far.”
Moe was starting to question everything, and who could blame her? The one part of her life she’d been a superstar at, she’d only been able to participate in one full season, over the course of her four seasons at Nevada. But Moe refused to quit and wouldn’t allow the injuries to stop her love and passion for the game.
“They’ve all been really hard but honestly people are like ‘how did you get through that,’” Moe said. “Honestly I can’t see my life without basketball so it was kind of never a question of how can I? Nah, I’m just going to get it done.”
Get it done, she did. During Moe’s second redshirt junior season she started in 29 of the team’s 30 games. She averaged 7.7 points per game, was a Mountain West Scholar-Athlete and part of the All-MW academic team.
Moe is entering her final season at Nevada under a new head coach in Amanda Levens. Levens sees Moe’s potential even though she only has her for a year.
“You can’t say enough about that resilient spirit she has,” said Levens. “She also has a great basketball IQ. Great instincts on the floor and she really just wants to move. She doesn’t care who scores the points or who gets the credit, she just wants to win. She’ll play any position to help the team and she’s done a great job of that for us.”
Moe’s final season may be starting on Nov. 10, but her irrepressible spirit will live in each Wolf Pack team she encountered during her time at Nevada.