Hall of Famers speak at FMU

Armand Broady, Sports Writer

Women’s basketball Hall of Famers Sylvia Hatchell and Pearl Moore visited the university on Tuesday, Sept. 13, to speak to FMU’s student-athletes as part of NCAA’s Champs Life Skills Program.

NCAA’s Champs Life Skills Program seeks to educate student-athletes in areas of academics, athletics, personal growth and decision-making.

Hatchell has held her current position as head coach of the women’s basketball team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for the last 25 years. Hatchell is also a former FMU women’s basketball head coach, where she won two national championships in her 11 years in Florence.

Pearl Moore is a Florence native and career scoring leader at FMU with more than 4,000 points in her four years at the university.

Hatchell credits her current success to the time she spent leading the Lady Patriots.

“I will never let go of what FMU has done for me,” Hatchell said. “The truth of the matter is I wouldn’t be where I am today without FMU.”

During her speech, Hatchell mentioned the important qualities that a champion must have in order to be successful on and off the playing field. Hatchell talked about teamwork and how all success begins with having the right mental attitude.

“Your altitude is determined by your attitude,” Hatchell said. “You choose whether or not you want to have a winning mentality.”

Hatchell also encouraged the student-athletes to have a commitment to hard work. Passion, pride, loyalty and togetherness were all messages Hatchell expressed to the audience.

Pearl Moore shared many of Coach Hatchell’s sentiments. During the evening’s ceremonies, Moore talked about what basketball and the university have done for her.

“I love coming back to FMU to give back,” Moore said. “Playing and competing for FMU basketball gave me the biggest high I could ever want.”

Moore also said that, for her, basketball was about more than just scoring and rebounding. During her playing days, Moore was more focused on giving back to her teammates.

The four-time All-American said that it’s important to earn the respect of teammates and to make and learn from mistakes; Moore said that it is vital to be willing to lead and that it’s important to take initiative through communication with others.

Senior baseball infielder and catcher Brian Paulhus spoke of what visits from Hatchell and Moore do for his team and its chemistry.

“When they speak, it’s lets you know that each person is different and each teammate brings different skills and different personalities to the team,” Paulhus said.