Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Next stop for Tinara Moore: professional basketball.
Moore, who recently completed an outstanding career in helping lead Central Michigan to the best women’s basketball season in the 50 years of the program, has signed a training-camp contract with the Washington Mystics of the WNBA.
The native of Southgate and the first Associated Press All-American in CMU program history, leaves Monday for Washington, D.C. The Mystics camp is scheduled to begin on April 29.
“Definitely going to have to get stronger, show them that even though I am smaller that I can compete with bigger women,” the 6-foot-2 Moore said on Monday at the Chippewa Athletic Awards at Plachta Auditorium, where she accepted CMU’s Female Athlete of the Year Award. “I will definitely have to work on my handles and doing more things off the dribble, getting to the basket.”
Moore was named the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year in 2018 and is the two-time reigning MAC Defensive Player of the Year. She was instrumental in putting CMU on the national stage in helping lead the Chippewas to MAC regular-season and tournament championships, a program record 30 wins, an NCAA Tournament berth, and an appearance in the Sweet Sixteen.
She went from playing sparingly as a freshman to the program’s all-time leader in blocks (215) and field goal percentage (.545), and ranks third in scoring (1,676 points). She set program season marks for points (667), field goals (240) and blocks (79) in 2017-18.
She added plenty to her game in her four years at CMU, including the ability to get to the basket off the drive, along with a long-range jumper. Both skills, unquestionably, helped her garner the attention of the WNBA scouts.
“I’m super grateful that I had coaches who believed in me that I could do those things,” Moore said. “I’ve been practicing these moves that I knew I would have to do at the next level. I’m pretty confident in myself in doing those moves.”
Moore, a business management major with a 3.15 grade point average, watched anxiously last week as the WNBA draft unfolded. She was hoping to become the second Chippewa, after Crystal Bradford in 2015, to be taken in the draft.
“I was really disappointed because I did think I was going to get drafted, at least in the second round,” she said. “Unfortunately, it just kind of didn’t work in my favor. I was kind of down afterwards, but honestly I have really good coaches who were telling me it was OK, that I would get a call from some coach somewhere and then the Mystics invited me to training camp.”
Moore, who was back in the gym almost immediately after CMU’s season ended in the Sweet Sixteen in Spokane, Wash., said she still hasn’t fully sat back and taken stock of what she, individually, and her teammates, collectively, accomplished this season and over the past four years.
“I was just truly blessed with those teammates,” she said.