There’s no better feeling after a bitterly fought game than the unconditional love of a slobbering, overzealous, 200-pound English mastiff.
Whether the Secaucus basketball team has won or lost, Julia McClure knows Moose will be there at the end of the day with a hardy hello and a bunch of kisses.
“He’s really big, but he imagines himself as a lap dog,” the junior said. “He’ll run over to you, and when he gets excited — most people think it’s gross — he’ll be drooling and it will get on you.”
Moose probably heard all about Secaucus’ three victories last week – and McClure’s big role in each win.
The Record Female Athlete of the Week had 27 points and 10 rebounds as the Patriots beat High Point, 71-62, in the Hoops 4 Autism event Dec. 21. She added eight steals and two assists, and was named game MVP.
The next day, McClure had 15 points, eight rebounds, two assists and one steal in a 77-25 victory over Lyndhurst. She wrapped up the week with 27 points, 15 rebounds, six steals and two assists in a 69-63 win over Paramus Catholic on Friday.
By coach John Sterling’s count, McClure has racked up 877 rebounds in her career going into this week. That’s especially impressive considering McClure is a guard.
“I just think I have the attitude,” she said. “I always have my eye on the ball and I like to do the dirty work. I’m always boxing out and I’m always thinking about going to the ball.”
McClure recently accepted a full scholarship from Wagner, where she will combine her two loves: basketball and animals.
While she may start off with a schedule loaded with chemistry classes, McClure is hoping to become a veterinarian someday. It’s not surprising, considering Eddie and Pam McClure have filled their home with critters. Moose shares space with Princess the bunny, Bud the parrot, three cats and one other dog.
“My mom worked as a groomer and my dad is in animal control in Secaucus,” she said. “I have always been around animals. I love them.”