Joseph Lillard – Sports Editor
They say ball is life, but to some it is more than that.
Take Ewing Moussa for example.
Moussa said, “I started playing in fourth grade. That’s considered a late start for a lot of people.”
While he may have started late, Moussa took to the game quickly.
“There are a few things that made me love the game. It was a way of making friends, and it was a great escape and stress reliever,” he said.
“When you’re playing, nothing else matters. I also love how tactical it is. There are so many things that happen that people don’t necessarily see, but every single movement that happens in a basketball game happens for a reason. I love that. There are so many things that happen in life that you can relate to basketball and vice versa,” he added.
Despite the late start, the love for the game was emanate.
“Yeah everyone in my family played from my dad to my brothers. I have multiple family members that played pro. It gets pretty competitive at family gatherings,” said Moussa.
Moussa hails from the Washington D.C. area, which begs the question: Why did he pick Clarion?
“Before I even got here, I felt like everyone knew me by name. When I visited, I didn’t feel like I was just another number. It felt like a community and I really enjoyed that. Everyone in every office from admissions, to financial aid, to the athletics department. Everyone just seemed so kind and genuine.”
Is it hard going to school that far away from home?
“It’s tough. Really, really tough. If you surround yourself with the right people though, it becomes a lot easier. I miss my family a lot. I don’t have the most traditional family. I love my family a lot, and I feel like I’ve missed so many priceless moments because I’ve been so far away. My girlfriend’s family is close by and they’ve taken me in as their own. I’m really thankful of that. And also my family here. I have people in Clarion who really care about me and that’s something special.”
Moussa’s Clarion family is no accident, either.
“I try to just connect with everyone. Before my mom passed, that’s a lesson she taught me. We all have a story. Our stories are connected in some way, we just have to make that connection. My family is really, really diverse and that has helped me with being able to connect with people. I wouldn’t be where I am if people didn’t try to understand my story. So, I try to do the same thing. It doesn’t cost anything to just listen.”
Unfortunately, Moussa decided to hang up the Jordan’s this season.
“I had some surgery this summer. I’ve been trying to battle back, but it wasn’t going well.”
Simply put, “My body just can’t handle it anymore, and I want to be able to play with my children in a few years. I also feel like I’ve missed watching my little brothers grow up. I want to be able to go home and see them.”
As one could imagine, that decision was not easy to make.
“It was tough. I love basketball. It has made so many things possible for me. It has been such a huge part of my life. I thought about it for months and it kept me up a lot of nights. What made it easier for me was my family and everyone around me being supportive of my decision. I think it was the best decision for me and my family,” he said.
He continued, “I still love the game and I’m appreciative of everything it has done for me. I hope to continue to use it for myself and to teach others what it can do for them. The relationships are actually stronger away from the court. I’m also thankful for such great coaches, I learned so much from them. I had coaches that cared about me as a person. Last but not least, Wendy Snograss and Dave Katis.”
“I believe they’ve built something at Tippin that all athletic departments at every school should aspire to be. Because of those two, Tippin is a family. They care about every single student athlete as if it were their own children,” he concluded.
From here on out, he focuses on the future.
“I’d love to work in PR. Actually, I’ve grown to appreciate small businesses since I started here. I have this idea for helping small business in small towns like Clarion succeed. I’m also very passionate about teaching kids the importance of civics, and I’d love to continue doing that on greater level. And of course I want to coach. I want to continue to learning about the game and teach it to kids. I’m just thankful for the life I’ve had and I want to continue to better myself every single day regardless of what I am doing.”