HAMPDEN, Maine — It was challenging enough for Rick and Lucienne Moore to track their three children’s basketball careers back when older son, Jacob, and daughter, Whitney, were playing at Hampden Academy and younger son, Conar, was competing at the middle-school level.
Jacob and Whitney routinely played their games at different locations on the same night as dictated by the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A schedule, and Conar’s games often sent one or both parents in yet another direction.
But little did they know such scheduling conflicts were all merely a warm-up for what’s to come this weekend, when all three Moore siblings will be participating in championship-level basketball events around the Northeast and their parents will be following them as closely as possible either in person or using technology.
“It’s crazy, but it’s been good trying to pull it all together,” said Rick Moore.
Whitney Moore, a sophomore forward at the University of New England in Biddeford, will be in Amherst, Mass., on Friday evening when the Commonwealth Coast Conference-champion Nor’Easters take on Bridgewater (Mass.) State in the opening round of the NCAA Division III women’s basketball tournament.
Jacob Moore, a junior forward at Husson University in Bangor, will be in Plattsburgh, N.Y., on Saturday night when the North Atlantic Conference-champion Eagles face Plattsburgh State in a first-round game of of the NCAA Division III men’s basketball tourney.
That game is set for a 7 p.m. start, the same time freshman guard Conar Moore and the Hampden Academy boys basketball team will tip off against South Portland in the Class A high school state championship game on Saturday.
“When we won the CCC championship I was so excited,” said Whitney. “And then when I found out that Jacob and Conar had both won, too, I was just amazed.
“I’d love to be there to watch them play, but on the other hand it’s so great that we all have these opportunities.”
The Moore parents have established a tentative game plan for the weekend.
Friday’s schedule has Lucienne Moore joining Conar at a team dinner for the Hampden Academy squad at the home of Broncos’ teammates Zach and Nick Gilpin while her husband leaves work early to make the six-hour trip to Amherst, Mass., to watch UNE’s NCAA tournament opener and report back to the rest of the family.
On Saturday the parents will meet in Augusta for Hampden’s Class A state final against South Portland while at the same time keeping an eye on Lucienne’s iPhone to watch either live streaming of the Husson game or at least track live game statistics of that contest.
“[Technology] sure is a good thing,” said Rick. “Whether getting texts to keep up on the scores or watching live streams of games it’s all helped.”
That technology also has served the Moore siblings well in sharing their successes.
“We’re texting all the time,” said Whitney. “There have been a lot of congratulations, and one thing Jacob and I have said to Conar is that even though he’s a freshman to make sure to enjoy the experience because you never know if it’s going to happen again.”
Such scheduling complexities are nothing new for the Moore parents this winter as they have sought to keep pace with their children’s various schedules.
“We’ve primarily gone with Conar,” said Rick, “because that’s how it was when Jacob and Whitney were in high school, that we followed their high school teams. But we’ve obviously been able to see Jacob play a lot because a lot of his games fall on Saturday and are right in Bangor, and I’ve been able to make about half of Whitney’s games.”
And while Rick and Lucienne Moore are excited about the individual successes their children have experienced with their respective teams, they’re also appreciative that the kids are able to share such relatively rare athletic experiences at the same time.
“Whitney sent a text talking about how they were all doing a once-in-a-lifetime thing in the same weekend,” said Rick, himself a former basketball player at Brewer High School and Thomas College in Waterville. “They really understand where they’re at right now and how special it is because there are only a small amount of teams that play in the NCAA tournament each year and just two teams that make it to a state championship game.
“Just being able to see them all in this situation is great, and Lucienne and I are just along for the ride.”
And as for the possibility that either UNE or Husson or both teams will advance beyond their first-round games?
“We’ll take it one day at a time,” said Rick.