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If one ever wishes to see Merrissa Moore bubble over with enthusiasm, ask about her culinary aspirations. 

"My mom has a chip truck in Huntsville, and hopefully if all goes well, I'm going to open one next to her for desserts," Moore beamed, referring to the Smokin' Hot Chip Truck operated by her mother, Julie Moore. "I'm so excited, honestly I can't wait."

While there's a special place in Moore's heart for music, the two passions currently consuming her time are cooking and basketball. The Huntsville native is equally comfortable recommending Smokin' Hot's Big Bear burger, complete with pulled pork, cheese, and barbecue sauce, or chatting about the 40 minute drive to Gravenhurst to play in scrimmages.

Eager to begin her Culinary Management program, the 5'9" small forward is one of several new additions to George Brown's women's basketball program. And just as with cooking, b-ball has a familial connection.

"I really looked up to my brother and he played basketball for the high school team," Moore said of her brother, Michael.

"He was really supportive. Whenever he would tell his friends, 'Oh, my sister plays basketball,' I'd be all proud and happy. I think I started when I was in Grade 6 because of him."

For someone entering their first year of college eligibility, Moore already possesses remarkable perspective. Underneath her youthful exuberance, she's seemingly discerned a lesson from every basketball experience along the way.

From her secondary school days playing with London, Ontario's Mother Teresa Spartans, Moore learned about being a team through trying times.

"When we tried to go to OFSAA and we lost, and all the seniors were crying, you had to learn to stay strong no matter what happens," remembered Moore. "It sucks when you lose, nobody likes losing, but it happens regardless. Somebody has to win and somebody has to lose and you have to learn how to take the losses as a team. At the end of the day, it's everybody's win or it's everybody's loss."

Following high school, the 18-year-old played club ball with Toronto Triple Threat. Under coach Naomi Mullings, who also serves as assistant coach with Seneca women's basketball, Moore's biggest takeaway was the importance of putting her own insecurities aside.

"You don't really have time to be self-conscious when you're on the court, you just have to play for your coach more so than for yourself," she said. "Even if you don't think you're that good, it doesn't matter because if they believe in you, if your coach believes in you, that's all that matters."

Toronto may be a big city, but its circles are small. Moore first appeared on the Huskies' radar thanks to an e-mail from Mullings, who knew of her interest in George Brown's Chef School.

Moore's old coach described her as a quiet leader, one who worked hard without complaint.

"She's a self-starter," praised Mullings. "She knows what it is she needs to do and she does it, no questions asked. She has that initiative to go and get it done."

What Moore brings to the table goes well beyond intangibles. The Huskies rival lauded her former player's shooting ability and craftiness, ingredients Mullings suggested would add a different look to George Brown's game.

"If she gets that ball in her hands with some space, she can definitely shoot it," Mullings said. "She's going to be that spacer for George Brown that I don't think they had last year."

Now several months into her new basketball surroundings, it didn't take long for both Moore's lunch bucket attitude and skill set to leave an impression.

"The first time I met Merrissa was at one of our first workouts back in May. She worked really hard during that session, which really impressed me," said Huskies sophomore Kiyann Grimaldo, who also cited Moore's shooting prowess and ability to get to the hole.

According to Huskies head coach Warren Williams, Moore's approach is fitting hand in glove with playing and preparing the George Brown way.

"The big thing for the returnees is we really did a good job of starting to set a tone, a culture for how we want things done," Williams said, identifying punctuality, urgency and knowing when business means business. "And Merrissa's done a really good job of adhering to that."