Photo: Nike/Jon Lopez
Class of 2019 wing Wendell Moore has been nothing but impressive with his play this AAU season. Moore shined at the Nike Elite 100 with his skill set complemented with tough play. He went into the event on a mission.
"I just know that every time I come out here somebody's always coming for me so at the same time I have to come back at them,” said Moore. “I just bring that little extra confidence and have a chip on my shoulder when I play. I just wanted to stand out in every way that I can. Whether it's scoring, playing defense or just doing the little things that I normally do. I’m just trying to stand out."
Moore suited up for the USA Basketball team and won a Gold Medal at the 2017 FIBA U16 Americas Championship. This was an opportunity like none else for him.
"It was great playing against different competition, which opened my mind to a lot of different things,” said Moore. “They play a lot differently and a lot slower than we do here. It's just a blessing to be there playing basketball & representing my country at the same time."
On June 15, it was the first time college coaches were allowed to contact class of 2019 prospects directly. This date was at the same time he was playing overseas representing his country. Moore was receiving multiple calls and text messages from high major schools.
"Yeah I mean that whole day my phone was ringing,” Moore said. “I got calls from Maryland, Washington, Wake Forest, UNC, Kansas, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Kentucky and the list goes on and on. At the same time me being out there with USA, we have to focus on one thing which is the gold medal so it all was a blessing.”
Four programs keep in touch daily with the class of 2019 prospect on the rise.
"Maryland texts me every day, just asking how I am doing,” Moore said. “The same goes for Wake Forest, North Carolina and Kansas."
It’s rare for North Carolina to offer a prospect as early as they did with Wendell Moore. The Tar Heels offered Moore last February, which he sees as a blessing.
"I mean just already being offered by one of the big blue blood schools, I’ve always looked at that as a blessing,” he said. “I think that just started everything for me because I know that the coach has faith in me. That shows me that I'm good enough to go there, but also that I have to work on some things to get there."
Another in-state school for Moore has been recruiting him heavily since they offered early on in the process.
"I have a great relationship with them,” said Moore. “Danny Manning hits me every day and Coach Woodbury texts me every day. They send me things that I can work on in games and they are just always trying to find a way to help me get better."
Kansas may be the next school to offer him as they have been showing him heavy interest.
"I mean they send me different things every day whether it's a quote or a picture,” Moore said. “These past few days we've just been talking about the draft with Josh Jackson and Frank Mason. They are just wishing me luck in everything that I do."