Randy Smith: Don't Forget Pearl Moore

  • Monday, March 4, 2024
  • Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
This past weekend, Iowa guard Caitlin Clark passed Pete Maravich as college basketball's all-time points leader. It was really a big deal as the game in which Clark broke the record was against 2nd ranked Ohio State...a team that knocked off the Hawkeyes in January. As of now, Clark has 3,685 points surpassing Pistol Pete's total of 3,667 points. That record has lasted for more than a half century and already this week, Clark has raised the ire of some detractors. Those members of the "Legion of the Miserable" are saying that the record set by Maravich was done in three years, or they're saying Clark's record shouldn't be accepted because she is a woman. 

First of all, Caitlin Clark has done more for women's basketball than anyone has ever done.
She has filled big arenas everywhere she's played this season and she's become a hero to little girls all around the country. Her shooting abilities are equal to NBA star Steph Curry. Simply put, she's amazing. However...we can't forget the contributions of a lady named Pearl Moore.

Pearl played at Francis Marion college in South Carolina from 1975-79 and her point total when she ended her career was 4,061 points. The 5' 7" guard played college basketball when teams played under the banner of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. (AIAW)  There was no three point line, nor was there a shot clock...just as it was for Pistol Pete. She once scored 60 points in one game and remember there was no three point shot. 

Moore played for Sylvia Hatchell at Francis Marion, years before Hatchell won an NCAA Championship at North Carolina. She would play pro basketball for the old Women's Professional Basketball League and she also played in Venezuela for a year before hanging up her sneakers for good. She was enshrined in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Naismith National Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021. 

Moore has been impressed all along with Caitlin Clark. "She can lead her team, she can pass and she can score," Moore said. "Those are three key components to being a great player."

We all need to celebrate the accomplishments of Caitlin Clark because there is no question she is one of the greatest players ever. But we also need to appreciate what Pistol Pete Maravich did and especially the contributions made by Pearl Moore. It's unlikely that Clark will be able to surpass Pearl Moore's 4,061 points and that's okay.  Placing a moniker like, "greatest player ever" is really hard to do and very subjective. So...let's just remember all of them.


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Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com.

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