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From Tragedy to Title

April 05, 2013

The story of Westmont  College (Calif.) head women’s basketball coach Kirsten Moore's year shows the power of a village.

Last May, Moore’s husband died unexpectedly from a pulmonary embolism after a surgery for Crohn’s disease. Seven weeks after his death, Moore gave birth to their only child, Alexis.  Last month, Moore led the Westmont Warriors to the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship.

It was a journey with tears, heartbreak and joy, supported by helping hands and a community that came together to support one of their own.

Now, it’s a story that is receiving national attention as Moore and 9-month-old Alexis were featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times on Easter Sunday.

Nationally syndicated columnist Bill Plaschke’s piece on Moore detailed the tremendous community effort it took for Moore as she sought to care for a newborn, grieve her husband and ultimately, win a national title.

“What happened to the women's basketball team from the tiny school tucked into the lush hills south of Santa Barbara cannot be found in brackets, cannot be wagered in an office pool, and is too outlandish even for a Cinderella,” Plaschke wrote.

Click here to read the entire LA Times article and see the great photos, taken by LA Times photographer Mel Melcon. 

You will come away remembering all the wonderful aspects of sport, from teamwork to perserverance and overcoming adversity. And you will be struck by the community support Westmont gave to Moore at every turn as she traveled this difficult path.

"It's a story of a team and a community coming together to take care of a coach and take care of each other with unbelievable results," John Moore, Westmont men's basketball coach, told the LA Times. "It's a story of magical synergy."

Moore’s story also  was featured on CBS in Los Angeles and other markets Monday, April 8, following the NCAA Division I Men’s National Championship game. Click here to see that news story.

NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship Bracket Announcement