Feb. 27, 2018

By Lauren Moses

As my time as a Virginia Cavalier winds down, I can’t help but reminisce about all the moments that helped mold me into the young adult that I am and am still becoming. Being a part of the women’s basketball program has taught me so much about myself. As a teammate and two-year captain on the team, the qualities I will take away most from this experience are patience with myself and others, as well as the importance of great listening skills. I believe that these qualities will and have benefited me well in both basketball settings as well as professional settings. The coaching staff, especially, has had a great impact on me throughout my four years here as they constantly remind us that many situations we face as a team are actually preparing us for the real world.

I have been blessed to be a part of an ever-growing program. Each team I have been a part of has been focused on getting better every day in practice as well as every year. I am thankful for everyone that was brought into this program as I have been able to learn from each staff member along with each teammate. At this university, we strive for uncompromised excellence. Although we may not mention it every day in meetings or in practice, I have learned by being a part of Virginia athletics that in order for me to be the best version of myself, my standards cannot and will not be altered by others opinions or actions.

I was initially attracted to this school and the women’s basketball program because I felt like part of the family, especially after my fifth visit. I would describe the culture of each team I have been a part of as a family that refuses to settle. Although, we may not have met all of our goals from year to year, as a team we never settled, along with the staff that surrounded each team, who never allowed anyone to settle. We still set our goals high and worked hard with the intention of obtaining them.

Since day one of freshman year, my three sisters, Aliyah, Jae’Lisa, and J’Kyra were ready to help improve this program athletically and academically. I am grateful that I was able to grow with these girls for the past four years. They have been the one of best parts of my experience at the University of Virginia as their positive energy has taught me to always see the brighter side of every situation. I have enjoyed their countless hugs, hour-long Facetime talks, random trips to the mall in Richmond, dinner dates and hangouts on the Lawn in the spring. I know that we may not be sisters by birth, but fate brought us together at the perfect time to be sisters by heart.

Family is the one of the most important parts of my life. Throughout my entire athletic career, beginning at the age of 5, my parents rarely missed a game. I can always count on them both on and off the court. My dad, Vernon Moses, has always been the parent who made sure I was prepared physically and technically on the court whether I was getting ready for a workout or a game. My mom really helped me with the mental side of the game. No matter what, she always told me to “control what you can control”. This will always stay with me because I believe it to be the healthiest way to go about life. When I look at my past four years at the University of Virginia, I have realized that when I take care of myself; mentally, physically, and emotionally, I have found the most success.

In my fourth season as a Virginia Cavalier, I am so thankful to go to war day in and day out with this team. I believe that this specific group of young women were put together to do something special for this program. We have celebrated our greatest moments, while we have also bonded together during adversity. In just a few short months, I have seen tremendous growth in each and every single player. As a team, we are committed to doing what is necessary to take this program to a place it has not been in a while. It will be a long road, but I believe we will be prepared for anything.