Phoenix Add Moore Starpower
Former San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers forward Ben Moore has signed with South East Melbourne Phoenix for the NBL21 season.
The 25-year-old American has signed a one-year deal as an import player.
Moore played four years of college basketball at Southern Methodist University (SMU) before spending the last three years splitting time between NBA and NBA G-League opportunities at San Antonio and Indiana.
(Moore playing for SMU at Madison Square Garden, New York)
At 203cm (6-8) and possessing a versatile skillset on both ends of the floor, Moore will spend time at both forward spots and the centre position for the Phoenix.
He says his assets will help turn the Phoenix into a tough, hard-edged team.
“It just sounded like a great opportunity for me and I think I could bring some things to the team that are really going to help them out, so I'm really excited about getting there. I heard the culture is already really good there so it should be a great fit,” Moore said.
“I'm going to play as hard as I can every game. Defensively, I'm going bring a lot to the team and I'm going to try to embody the (team) culture.
“I'm going to bring it every day to practice. I'm just going to have a great work ethic and take things as they come…doing what I can for the team. I’m a blue-collar kind of player, that's what they (the fans) can expect.”
The Chicago native also played in the USA Basketball team during the 2017 World Cup Qualifiers under now-ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy, who gave Moore a glowing endorsement during his second Indiana stint in 2018.
“Straight winner. He could be on any team in the NBA,” Van Gundy said of Moore in 2018.
“(He brings) energy, passion, enthusiasm, defense, tenacity, rebounding. (He’s) tough, hard-nosed, nasty competitive. I love Ben Moore…he plays so hard, so athletic.”
(Moore representing USA Basketball. Source: @austin_spurs on Twitter)
Moore is set to form a powerful frontcourt combination with Phoenix star Mitch Creek in NBL21.
The latest piece in the Phoenix puzzle played majority of his college career under legendary NBA coach Larry Brown, who “fell in love” with his will to win, tenacity and team-first attitude.
His next mentor, Phoenix Head Coach Simon Mitchell, says Moore’s ability to play a variety of roles makes him the perfect import addition to their roster.
“He came extremely highly recommended,” Mitchell said. “Larry Brown coached him in college and rated him the best team-player he’s ever coached. When you get an NBA Hall of Famer talking up a kid like that, then you take notice.
“I think he's a bit of a Swiss army knife in that he can perform multiple roles; he can play the five spot, certainly plays the four spot and can play the three spot as well. He's inside, outside and brings constant energy.
“We just felt like he ticks so many boxes for us. We love his length, we love his athletic ability, we love his versatility, and we think he's going to be the guy for us.”
Phoenix CEO Tommy Greer added: “To land an NBA-level talent who is entering the prime of their career is a really exciting prospect for our team and our organisation.
“We feel Ben fits what we want to represent on and off the court with his team-first attitude and dogged competitiveness. He’ll be a huge addition to our club.”
Moore is set to arrive in Melbourne and join pre-season training in December.
The Phoenix’s current NBL21 roster includes Mitch Creek, Cam Gliddon, Ben Moore (import), Kyle Adnam, Yanni Wetzell, Dane Pineau, Adam Gibson, Kendall Stephens, Reuben Te Rangi and Izayah Mauriohooho-Le’afa (development player).
Phoenix Media (10/11/2020)