Lee County senior basketball star Daqueena Moore, center, officially commits Wednesday to Alabama State. She is surrounded by, from left, mother Dawn Walker, brother Damion Moore, Grace Legette and Lee County coach Fran McPherson.
LEESBURG — She’s Miss Lee County Basketball.
It’s as simple as that.
The kid they call Q will leave Lee County High School as the girls basketball program’s leading scorer (1,270 points) and leading rebounder.
DaQuenna Moore, who signed a letter of intent to accept a basketball scholarship to Alabama State on Wednesday, grabbed a mind-boggling 1,168 rebounds in a little less than three seasons at Lee County.
But she made her biggest rebound a little more than a year ago when she bounced back to Georgia and returned to Leesburg after moving to Texas.
“I don’t think she would have gotten a scholarship if she would have stayed in Texas,’’ Moore’s mother, Dawn Walker, said Wednesday after her daughter signed. “She was miserable there, and every night she would ask me about coming back to Lee County.’’
Walker made her decision to have her daughter return after basketball season began.
“I didn’t like the way the coach handled her,’’ Walker said. “I didn’t like the way the coach was yelling at her. I saw that it was going to end up ruining her career if she stayed in Texas.’’
Walker, who was a staff sergeant in the Army, was stationed in Iraq when her daughter was a sophomore, so she arranged for DaQuenna to move in with her aunt, Walker’s sister, who lived in Leesburg. But Walker came home from Iraq the following year and moved to Texas with her daughter.
“I wanted to come back,’’ Moore said. “When I came back I wanted to show that I still had it. I worked hard for it. Looking back, the thing I will remember are my teammates and my coach. I had a great coach, and I improved over the years I was here.’’
Moore was welcomed back with open arms.
“She was terribly unhappy in Texas,’’ said Lee County girls coach Fran McPherson, who couldn’t have been happier to see Moore return. “When she left it was like throwing out 17 points and 15 rebounds a game. We started the season without her, and when she came back about five games into the season our team turned the corner.’’
Moore said she talked to several schools, including Mercer, Georgia Southern and East Tennessee State, but said when she visited Alabama State, there was no point talking to anyone else.
“I felt at home there,’’ said Moore, who at 6-1 should be able to fit in at a Division I program. “I liked the team, and the coaches were great. I saw them play two games and really liked the way they coach and play. It felt like home, and they felt like family to me.’’
Moore was a Herald Super 6 player and a three-time Herald All-Metro and All-Area player. She was named to the GACA All-State team this season, and was an All-Region 1-AAAA player for three years. She was named the MVP of the Southwest Georgia All-Star Game last month and was named as a GACA All-Star. She has a 3.0 GPA. She scored 38 points for a career high at Lee, and her career-high 28-rebound game against Thomas County Central ranks fourth in the state of Georgia’s girls basketball.
Moore is only the third girls basketball player from Lee County to sign a basketball scholarship and is a testament to the program McPherson has built at Lee, where the girls basketball team went from oblivion to becoming a mainstay in the state playoffs.
McPherson’s team has been in the playoffs three of the past five years, and the Lady Trojans won 15 games against a very competitive schedule and went to the playoffs this season. The year before McPherson came to Lee County, the team won one game all season and had won a total of four games in a three-year stretch.
“DaQuenna has been a big part of this program,’’ McPherson said. “She is a tremendous rebounder, and she averaged 21 points and 15 rebounds a game for her career. She is such a consistent performer against very tough competition.
“DaQuenna is such a great athlete, and she’s quick to the ball. She is going to really be a nice ball player for Alabama State. With her ability, I think she will bring something to the table right away.’’