BEECH CREEK - When she walked off the court for the final time at Mansfield University, Mallory Moore knew her basketball career wasn't over.
Instead of saying good-bye, it was kind of like an "I'll see you later."
"I knew that my career wasn't over," the former MU and Central Mountain standout said. "I knew it was just the end of another stop and that I still had a ways to go before I reached my overall goal. It was sad from the standpoint that I would never get to play with the girls at Mansfield again. But at the same time, I knew that I still had goals to acheive."
Her life-long goal was to play basketball professionally.
She set it when she first took the court at Central Mountain, and just carried her goals and aspirations as she went one hour north to Mansfield.
And now, Moore's dream has blossomed before her eyes.
She's a professional basketball player.
Moore, a Beech Creek native, recently inked a two-year contract to play with Lemvig of the Danish Basketball League.
She is the second player in MU history to play professionally overseas. The first was former Jersey Shore standout Alison Tagliaferri, who played with Esgueira of the Portuguese Basketball Federation.
"This means so much to me," Moore said. "I feel like I finally accomplished my life-long dream. I've finally reached my basketball goals. I still have some left that I'm going to work hard to reach. But this is one of my major goals."
While at Mansfield, Moore was nearly unstoppable. She led the PSAC in scoring during her senior year, and was 17th in the nation in scoring with 18.8 ppg. She was second in the conference in steals, 21st overall in the country, and finished ninth in the league for rebounds.
She ended her Lady Mountaineer career as the second-leading scorer in MU history with 1,547 points, third in career steals with 257 and fifth in career rebounds with 814.
She was twice named MU Winter Athlete of the Year, and was also an all-conference selection.
It's been a long few months for Moore since the departure from Mansfield.
First, she traveled to Italy where she spent a few weeks playing in front of scouts in large tournaments.
"I started to get some interest there from teams," she said. "People started to email me, and talk about their programs. Honestly, it kind of reminded me a lot of the college process where people are selling what their programs have to offer. Instead, it's kind of magnified to a larger scale.
"The tournaments in Italy were really good because they are kind of like try-outs where you get to show the teams the skills that you have."
What sold Lemvig, besides being a championship contender, was the opportunity to play her natural position.
"I'm a 2 or 3, and that's where I envisioned myself playing," she said. "I wanted to go somewhere where I could help out and play my position. A lot of teams wanted me to play big or play in the post, but that's not where I've played my whole life. I just wanted to play in that 2 to 3 range."
Of course, it's going to be a change.
A new language. A new country. Different lifestyle and life changes.
"I'm excited about the opportunity, but I am kind of nervous at the same time because I'm playing in a new place," she said. "But this is my dream, and I'm so excited about the opportunity to live my dream. I always wanted to play overseas since I was a kid, and I've been working toward this goal. This is what I've always wanted. My parents were so happy for me. They knew how much this meant to me.
"I'm spending a lot of time looking up different facts about Denmark, and trying to learn as much as I could about the country. I've been checking about the weather there, their history, and even the currency exchange rates."
Lemvig's season runs from August through May. Her first practice is set for Aug. 13, so she intends to be in Denmark somewhere between Aug. 10 and Aug. 15.
"I'm hoping to leave on Aug. 10 so I can be at the team's first practice on Aug. 13," she said.
No doubt, Moore will reach every basketball goal she set.
Signing her contract in Denmark is proof.
"I'm going to continue to work hard," she said. "There are still some things I have left that I want to accomplish. Basketball is my life, and it means so much to me. I'm just going to work hard and take full advantage of this amazing opportunity."