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Former IVC hoops star headed to FIU

April 22, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

When Jello Moore, Sandra Ramos and LaToya Jackson arrived at Imperial Valley College to play for the women's basketball team for the 2000-01 season, expectations were high.

In the two years that Moore, from Sunrise, Fla., Ramos from Monterrey, Mexico and Jackson from Miami played at IVC, they took a fledgling program that recorded only one win prior to their arrival and turned it into a Southern California junior college power.

After two years at IVC, it's time for the three to move on.

On Friday, Moore was the first to commit to a four-year university as she decided to return to Florida and sign with Florida International University in Miami.


"I had been following them the whole season, watching them to see how they were doing. When I was thinking about transferring, I really didn't want to stay in California. I wanted to go back home," said the 20-year-old Moore. "I worked out with them and the coach (Cindy Russo) said the girls on the team really liked me. And for me, I felt comfortable there."

The final decision essentially came down to FIU and Cal State Northridge, which Moore said pushed extremely hard for her.

"They kept calling and calling, wanting me to play, but looking at their situation, they were losing 10 seniors and were bringing in a lot of freshmen," said the 6-foot Moore, who in 2002 was awarded as the team's best all-around player. "And I really wanted to go somewhere that was already stable and had a good program. With Florida International, this last year they went to the NCAA tournament and had two players that were invited to WNBA camps. So those are reasons I decided to go there."

In her two years at IVC, Moore, the team's center, helped the Arabs to a 40-20 record. In 2002, she contributed to IVC racking up a 22-7 overall mark and an 8-2 record in the Pacific Coast Conference, where IVC finished in second place and earned its first trip ever to the postseason.

Her numbers stayed consistent over her two years, averaging nearly a double-double with 15.2 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per contest. Her first year with the Arabs she did average a double-double, finishing with 15.6 points a game and 10.2 boards per contest.

"Jello has definitely meant a lot to this program and we're going to miss her," said Arab coach Jill Tucker. "You would like to think that you'd be able to replace people, but with her size and ability to run the floor, that is just invaluable.

"It's that athleticism that is what has gotten her to the next level," said Tucker. "I'm really happy with her choice because she gets to go back home. So I am excited for her in that respect."

Ramos and Jackson are being recruited but have yet to sign with any college.

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