Your Neighbor: Meet Moye Lowe

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 14, 2023

By Mandy Haggerson

For the Clemmons Courier

As Moye Lowe celebrates her 22nd year as the official scorekeeper for the Wake Forest Women Demon Deacons, she reflects on her love for basketball, which has empowered her through many of life’s chapters.

“I have been around basketball forever. Before basketball was televised, my dad and I would listen to it on the radio, and he taught me how to keep stats,” recalls Lowe. “I even do that now when I watch certain teams on TV.”

If not following basketball, Lowe could be found outside as a child playing the game herself.

“I loved playing any sport and was always playing with the boys,” Lowe said. “I even tried to play on the football team. But basketball definitely became my favorite. My dad had bricked up the backyard for me and put flood lights out there with a basketball goal. My mom would later in life tell my kids that I would spend all of my time out there, and they had to call me in because I was constantly shooting and practicing even in the dead of winter. I just couldn’t get enough of it.”

When Lowe was in the 6th grade, she made the varsity basketball team at her Catholic school.

“I couldn’t wait to get in there and play,” Lowe said.

When Lowe went to high school, she attended Vardell Hall Preparatory School & Junior College.

“My brother, who was eight years older than I, went to a military boarding school, so I knew that I would go to a boarding school as well. It went from 9th grade through two years of junior college. I really enjoyed my time there and treasured the friendships I made,” reflects Lowe.

During her time at Vardell Hall, Lowe also participated on the women’s basketball team her senior year.

“After completing the junior college program, I transferred to Averett University in Danville, Virginia,” Lowe said. “I tried out for their basketball team but didn’t make it. It was tough coming in as a transfer, and the coach didn’t know me. I was disappointed, but that’s a life.

“I went on to earn my degree in business while I was there.”

After graduating, Lowe weighed her career options.

“I had worked during my summers and Christmas times at a bank in the town of Gastonia, where I grew up,” Lowe said. “I decided to accept a job as a bank auditor in Charlotte for what is now known as Bank of America. I absolutely loved it. It allowed me to travel, and I was the first female bank auditor in Charlotte and possibly ever.

“I remember there were often bank robberies, especially around this time of year at Christmas. I would have to go in after that and help, which was always interesting. Unless it was a Friday, and we were all ready to go home.”

The busy young professional was enjoying her career when fate would step in.

“My future husband, Jody, and I had mutual friends that wanted to set us up on a blind date,” Lowe said. “At the last minute, another person needed a date, so Jody went with them. How he and I got a second date is beyond me because of it, but it happened, and then we started seeing each other seriously in 1973. We got married two years later.

“Jody’s job took us to Augusta, Georgia, for a while before landing us back in the Winston-Salem area about 46 years ago.”

When the Lowes moved back to North Carolina, they were expecting their first child, Jay.

“I knew at that time it wouldn’t be fair to go back to work full time, so I took a position at St. Leo’s Catholic School as the director of religious education,” Lowe said. “Then, I started coaching basketball. I had our daughter, Marian, a couple of years later. I am pretty sure Marian learned how to walk on that gym floor at St. Leo’s, and Jay would always bring his homework and finish it while I was coaching. I don’t know how I did it at the time, but it was a fun place to be.”

What was most meaningful was the relationships Lowe made over time and the ability to coach her own children.

“I got to coach Marian in basketball all through middle school,” Lowe said. “We won conference championships and had some really special kids come through. Coaching kids that are really talented is fun. However, coaching kids that have never played basketball before and turning them into players is so rewarding.

“My last season at St. Leo’s, Marian’s team won the big Catholic tournament in Charlotte, so that was an exciting way to go out. They worked hard and deserved it. They would even practice on Christmas break,” smiles Lowe.

Lowe continued her coaching career at Forsyth Country Day School.

“The group of kids there also had great chemistry and were hard workers,” Lowe said. “We beat a lot of good teams that they had never beaten before. I got lucky, and like my time at St. Leo’s, I still keep in touch with former players to this day. Seeing them grow in their own lives and develop is very rewarding. I enjoy seeing them prosper.

I got so into coaching that I have broken my foot twice while doing it. I had a surgery on my shoulder from injuries sustained from coaching about eight or nine years ago, too.”

Due to her love for coaching, Lowe was encouraged to become a referee as well.

“I have refereed middle and high school teams. The worst is the adult men’s leagues,” Lowe said. “But refereeing the kids that are younger was always my favorite.”

Since Moye was not the only member of the Lowe family to share a love for basketball and sports, it was no surprise when her son Jay took a job in athletics at Wake Forest University.

“He was good friends with the assistant athletic director, Davis Whitfield,” Lowe said. “When a job opening became available for keeping the stats for the women’s basketball team, Jay immediately thought of me. I was so excited. And for two of those years, in 2016 and 2017, I did the stats for the High Point University women’s team, too.

“I have always liked the speed of the game. You have to multitask the entire time and stay very alert.”

Lowe even added refereeing college volleyball to her schedule. Never one to shy away from trying something new in the athletics realm, she enjoyed the pace she was keeping, especially as her children had grown and she had been promoted to grandmother. Arabelle, 12, Alice, 12, Emery, 9, Gray ,9, and Cora, 7, gave Lowe a new title in the family.

“Becoming a grandmother is really special,” Lowe said. “It is also incredible to see your children as parents.”

The Lowe family’s close bond had a devastating loss when their son, Jay, died unexpectedly. Jay had just accepted his dream job at the University of Georgia in Athens, where he and his family resided.

“It’s really an indescribable feeling losing a child,” Lowe said. “Especially because he was a father himself. I had to stop everything I was doing with refereeing and coaching to grieve, and the only thing that I kept on my plate was keeping the score for the girls’ team at Wake. I felt because Jay had gotten me that job it was still a connection to him. And it was probably very healthy and healing that I kept doing it.

“It really saved me at times. I am grateful for our table crew, who is mostly former referees.”

Lowe continues to persevere by impacting the next generation of children in her family, too. She is a frequent fan at her granddaughter’s basketball and field hockey games.

“I never pushed any of my kids or grandkids to play any particular sport, but it’s fun that they have all gravitated towards basketball on their own,” Lowe said. “Watching them grow as players is really rewarding.”

Off the court, Lowe has also appreciated the impact of having a good education. Due to that appreciation, Lowe is serving on the board of trustees as the chairman for the Highlander Academy (formerly known as Vardell Hall).

“I made some really wonderful friendships while I was there, and I love watching them continue to succeed and grow as they influence the next generation,” Lowe said. “I think it’s important to make a difference. That’s why sports have always played such an important role in my life. There are so many life lessons and metaphors you can take away from them to succeed both on and off the court.”