Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tipesa Moorer Long Beach State basketball Senior

"Every Poly I've met on the same court isn't one to talk trash or anything like that, they've always let their game speak for itself and help fallen opponents back to their feet after they've knocked them down."

It has not been too uncommon that we see many more athletes who are mixed with African-American and Polynesian roots, especially from the Long Beach area. Tipesa Moorer is more than just a statistic in the area. Moorer is a senior guard for the Long Beach women's basketball team. Moorer's mother, Nona (Samuelu), is from Pago Pago, American Samoa and her father, Joseph, is African-American from Virginia. The Moorer family is a basketball family, to say the least. Her younger sister Tif, plays collegiately at Bluefield State in West Virginia and JJ plays at Queen City Prep School in North Carolina. Moorer will be graduating in May with a degree in Communication Studies.

Q: Playing at nearby Long Beach State from your hometown of Harbor City, was the transition from high school to college an easy one? The transition from high school to college wasn't too difficult mainly because my family was so close to me. I could still go home on the weekends and they were only a drive away if I had any problems. Also, I've always been good in academics and pretty good at time management, so that really helped the transition as well.
Q: How did you decide LB would be the best college for you? When I took my visit to LB, I instantly loved the atmosphere. Long Beach is very diverse and the family atmosphere between the athletic department and their athletes instantly drew me. It was also a plus that it wasn't too far from home so that way my family would still be able to watch me play.

Q: What do you plan on doing with your degree when you finish? I've been contemplating going into public relations with my degree, but am still unsure if that is what I really want to do. What I am really leaning towards is becoming a firefighter.
Q: Do most people know that you are Polynesian? Yes, most people know that I am Samoan, although many people do not guess it when they first meet me.
Q: What does it mean for you to be a Polynesian student-athlete? To be a Polynesian athlete means so much to me. Polynesians aren't prevalent in sports, so to represent the small minority, that means a lot. It's also an example of what other Polynesians can do. I'm the oldest of 18 grandchildren and I always tell my cousins to at least try and play a sport and encourage my aunties and uncles to put them on a team. Playing sports can do so much for your life and provide you with so many opportunities.
Q: How important will a college degree be to you and your future? A college degree will be important to my future because just having that means higher pay in any field I decide to go into.
Q: How has being Polynesian helped you as an athlete and a student? Having a Polynesian background has helped me as a student-athlete because it is grounded in my values. My family is very important to me and made sure I grew up thankful, humble, God-fearing, and being the best daughter, sister, niece, friend, person I could be; all that transfers onto the court and into the classroom.
Q: Without basketball, would you be in college right now?

It was always a given that I would go to college. My academics have always been really good so I could have gotten an academic scholarship.
Q: How did you decide basketball would take you to college? I went to Narbonne, a powerhouse in high school basketball. I got to see my older teammates go to college and be successful. Once I saw that, I knew that basketball would be my ticket to college.
Q: What defines a Polynesian athlete?
Humility defines a Polynesian athlete. Every Poly I've met on the same court isn't one to talk trash or anything like that, they've always let their game speak for itself and help fallen opponents back to their feet after they've knocked them down. Most Polynesians grow up in the Church and I think God definitely plays a huge role in the definition of a Polynesian athlete: thankful for the opportunities that many people aren't fortunate to have.

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