ELKHART — Khadijah Moore’s not planning on wasting any time when it comes to her college decision, and she’ll likely need that same degree of urgency during her final high school season.
The Elkhart Memorial senior intends to sign her full-scholarship, women’s basketball letter of intent with Ball State University on Nov. 13, the first day of the eight-day early signing period next month.
That doesn’t mean Moore hasn’t considered her choice carefully.
“I thought about it over and over and over and over again,” Moore said Monday, Oct. 28, shortly after the Crimson Chargers tipped off formal practices for the 2013-14 season. “I talked to my mom and coaches, and my mom said if you feel it fits, go.”
Ball State was the only official visit Moore took, though she did take unofficial ones to Purdue and Michigan State, and had a handful of other colleges express interest.
“I love the coaches there, the players were nice, the campus, and just being in the gym and watching them practice, it all made me ready to be there,” Moore said of the school in Muncie to which she verballed last spring.
Moore may be “ready to be there,” but Memorial coach Steve Scott isn’t ready to lose his 5-foot-11, standout lefty just yet.
“I bet she’s going to see every gimmick defense in the world this year,” Scott predicted.
Moore, after all, is the only regular back from a 13-8 club.
She’s also the latest among a half-dozen DI recruits to wear Charger uniforms in the last nine years.
As a freshman, she played regularly for a 23-3, sectional title club. As a sophomore, she starred for a 20-6, sectional title squad.
The differences between those two teams and last winter’s, though, is that those first two had multiple DI prospects.
As for this season, Moore’s the lone returnee who averaged more than two points a year ago.
“She’s always been one of the bigger kids, and that’s naturally put her inside,” Scott said, “but this year she’s going to play more of a swing position, a shooting guard-slash-small forward. We’re going to need her more out there. She’s our best outside shooter, and I think she’s developed a little more with her ball-handling.”
“I’m looking forward to it,” Moore said. “I know it’s going to be a challenge, but hopefully, I’ve got my teammates helping me and we’re going to pull through.”
Moore averaged team highs of 14.7 points and 8.9 rebounds last season to go with 2.2 steals, 1.7 assists and 1.2 blocks per outing for Memorial.
Basketball has been her lone high school sport.
“I got my first championship at Hawthorne (Elementary), sixth grade, and got a passion for it from there,” Moore said, “and just wanted to go with it. My coaches have helped and my mom (Tamara Peet) has always pushed me to go after what I love.”
The third-oldest of seven siblings, Moore’s first name (pronounced Kuh-deed-jah) was inspired by Queen Latifah’s character in the 1990s TV series “Living Single.”
She plans to study athletic training at Ball State.
The Cardinals are coming off a 17-16 season in Brady Sallee’s first as head coach last winter, including a monster jump from 4-12 to 12-4 in the Mid-American Conference.
Scott says Moore is plenty capable of fitting in at that next level.
“Just in terms of being an athlete, she’s the best I’ve ever coached, hands down,” said Scott, entering his third season at Memorial after eight seasons spent between two girls programs in South Bend. “And she’s grown up, become more mature, has made that progression you would hope all kids make.”