Overcoming obstacles, finding opportunity in life

Immense potential, firm roots forecast success


George Morin / The Advocate

Comet forward and business administration major Jacqie Moody uses her strong will to earn second place in scoring and made field goals in the Bay Valley Conference.

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

If you only know Jacqie Moody from her attitude and antics on the basketball court, you would know only one side of the 20-year-old Vallejo native who developed her inner leader on the hardwood and through unique life experiences.

After garnering All-Tri-County Athletic League (TCAL) First Team honors in her senior year at John Swett High School, the freshman continued her stellar play earning First Team All-Bay Valley Conference recognition this week. The freshman forward is third in the BVC in free throw attempts and total rebounds and second in points scored and made field goals.

Moody took a year off of basketball in 2013-14 to adjust to college and her work schedule.

“I knew I kind of got a pass because I was an athlete and I knew college wouldn’t be like that,” Moody said. “I knew I didn’t take class seriously enough and working, it would have been too much to balance all three. So I took some time to get a handle on the first two, then add basketball into the mix.”

Her father, Clarence Moody, said the decision was all hers. “We just supported her and let her adjust at her own pace.”

Moody’s family has been supportive since her early days in Vallejo when she started playing basketball at age 6 with her father. An elementary school coach encouraged Moody’s mother Jacqueline to let her join a youth team and she has been playing ever since.

“I always emphasized that she be committed to the game,” Clarence Moody said. “She is a strong-willed girl, a leader. I wanted her to know the responsibility in that and give people quality examples to follow.”

Moody’s commitment was tested in the summer between her freshman and sophomore year at Hogan High School in Vallejo. Passing through a group of friends while looking for her older sister Briana, shots rang out and in the confusion the 16-year old realized she had been shot in the butt and fell to the ground.

“I was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” she said. “It didn’t really hurt. Everything was numb. I thought about everything — my family, would I ever walk again?”

As residents called 911, her father was returning from work and drove right past the perpetrators, oblivious to what had occurred.

“It wasn’t bad. (The bullet) went straight through. I was home in a couple of hours,” Moody said.

Shortly after the incident, the Moody’s left Vallejo for Crockett. The now sophomore recovered in time for basketball season and started on JV team, eventually moving up to varsity.

Moody still refers to her dad as her number one fan, to the dismay of her mother who rarely misses a game.

Jacqueline Moody has clearly taken the biggest physical toll in the name of her daughter’s playing career, falling down steps and breaking her arm at an AAU game in Los Angeles.

“My first impulse was to laugh, but when I saw that she was hurt I just ran to her and held her until help arrived,” Moody said. “I didn’t even know it was broken until after my game when she showed up at dinner in a cast.”

“On the outside Jacqie is all strong-willed and tough, but she is really a sweet person. She guards her emotions, — you have to know her to know the real her. She’s always been like that,” Briana Moody said.

As point guard in high school, Moody had to adjust to a new position on the court and the speed of the game in college.

In the post Moody takes advantage of her quickness to gain rebounding position and deceptive ball handling skills to get to the rim on the break.

“She’s learning how to become a better basketball player,” Comet coach Paul DeBolt said. “She can do anything she’s determined to do. She has immense potential. It’s big for a freshman to make all league.”

The business administration major has a year to decide where she wants to transfer to, but she is leaning toward the East Coast to reunite with her father’s family in Philadelphia.

“It would be cool for my extended family to get to see me play in person and not watch over the live stream,” she said.

Moody chose her major based on lessons of responsibility learned from her father. After basketball she hopes to open an all-encompassing sports apparel store which covers all athletic needs under one roof.

“People that see me from the outside get a picture of who I am. But people who know me, know that I am a go-getter,” Moody said. “I strive for what I want, and I usually get it.”