Haunting the case howard moore accident: UW Howard Moore returns after a tragic accident

The atmosphere at the Kohl Center in Madison was electric on Saturday morning as the crowd erupted in a deafening roar and palpable joy filled the air. It was a special moment as former UW assistant coach, Howard Moore, returned to his home court, where he truly belonged.

Haunting the case howard moore accident:  UW  Howard Moore returns after a tragic accident
Haunting the case howard moore accident: UW Howard Moore returns after a tragic accident

The sense of nostalgia and appreciation was tangible as fans cheered for Moore, who had made a significant impact on the program. The outpouring of support and love for Moore was a testament to the strong bond between him and the Wisconsin basketball community. It was a heartwarming and unforgettable moment for all in attendance.

A Heartwarming Reunion

UW fans were aware that the Moore family would be honored before the game on Saturday, but they were taken by surprise when Moore himself made a return to the Kohl Center for the first time since March 7, 2019. On that memorable night, UW had triumphed over Iowa on senior night. Moore, brought onto the court in a wheelchair by former teammate Rashard Griffith, sported a black UW jacket and cap.

The sight of players from both teams standing and applauding was a powerful symbol of unity. Junior guard Chucky Hepburn expressed his pride in wearing the Badgers jersey, emphasizing the strong sense of brotherhood and family within the team. The touching moment continued as Moore was joined at center court by former teammates like Michael Finley and Tracy Webster. The current UW players and coaches gathered around Moore for a photo, amidst the resounding cheers from the crowd.

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A Tragic Turn of Events

Less than three months after his victory over Iowa, on May 25, Moore experienced a tragic car accident in Michigan that claimed the lives of his wife, Jennifer, and daughter, Jaidyn. His son, Jerell, fortunately only sustained minor injuries. Moore himself suffered severe burns and had to undergo treatment before finally returning to Wisconsin in early June.

Despite the immense loss, Moore was determined to make a comeback for the 2019-20 season. However, on June 25, he suffered a heart attack that left him disabled. Months of rehabilitation followed before he was able to return home in December 2021, marking a long and arduous road to recovery.

Haunting the case howard moore accident:  UW  Howard Moore returns after a tragic accident
Haunting the case howard moore accident: UW Howard Moore returns after a tragic accident

An Emotional Tribute

UW officials had designated Saturday as a special occasion to pay tribute to the Moore family and show support for the fundraising efforts aimed at alleviating Moore’s medical expenses. The emotional impact of the accident and the successful 2019-20 season, where the Badgers clinched a share of the Big Ten regular-season title, was evident on UW coach Greg Gard. The sole remaining player from that season on the current UW roster is Wahl.

Gard addressed the team on Thursday, reflecting on Moore’s significant influence at UW and the tragic loss he endured five years ago. Gard reminisced about Moore’s journey from player to assistant coach and the devastating car accident that changed everything.

A Heartfelt Reunion

Gard was emotional again after the loss to Illinois when asked about seeing Moore. he noted the UW staff was able to meet with Moore before tip-off. “That was…that was hard,” he said. “Sometimes in the today in the world we forget. We move on. Because lives are moving so fast. But tragedy struck one of our own.”

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A Community of Support

The Illinois coaches wore specialized ties to honor Moore, a native of Chicago. “We make this (game) about life and death sometimes,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. “It truly isn’t. In a world where it is very easy to forget, there’s a lot of things that are a lot more important.”

A Legacy Remembered

Moore’s life was changed nearly five years ago because of a wrong-way driver who also died in the crash. Moore’s road back has been long, tedious and physically and emotionally draining. The 2019-20 team dedicated that season to the Moore family.

A Grateful Son

Moore’s family came out to center court at halftime Saturday – his parents, Trennis and Howard Sr., his brother, Darnell, and his son. Jerell wore a UW uniform, with his father’s No. 34. Athletic director Chris McIntosh announced the men’s basketball offices have been named for Howard Moore.

A Lasting Impact

“From the bottom of my heart,” Jerell told the crowd, “thank you all – all of you. You have made this journey for me and my family so much easier for us to move on and to keep going forward. I have been so appreciate since the year 2019 to see all your support. It makes me so proud to be a Moore and to be a Badger.”

A Day to Remember

The cheers shared and tears shed for Moore on Saturday at the Kohl Center won’t soon be forgotten.