By Ashley Springer, Utah State Athletic Media Relations
LOGAN, Utah – When Jalen Moore first came to Utah State, he didn’t know how good he would be.
“I’ve accomplished more than I thought I would,” the Utah State senior wing said. “My dad told me I had good potential and I just kept working hard every day in the gym, trying to get better.”
The Cache Valley native from North Logan, Utah, grew up an Aggie fan. His father, Jimmy, played on the Utah State men’s basketball team from 1972-75.
“We came to a lot of the home games and it was a dream to come here,” Jalen Moore said.
Utah State head coach Tim Duryea said he will miss knowing Moore will “be a great representative of Aggie basketball.
“Whether it’s in the hotel, on the plane, in the airport, in a restaurant, Jalen’s always going to represent your program in a first class way,” Duryea said.
Moore started playing basketball when he was about 5 or 6 six years old after his father introduced it to him and his brother, Grayson.
“We just fell in love with it at a young age and just continued to keep playing,” Jalen Moore said.
Last season, Moore was able to play with his brother, Grayson, following his redshirt year after transferring from Northwest Nazarene. Jalen Moore said it was a dream come true for them.
“It’s not common that you see two brothers play at the same time or on the same team at the Division I level,” Moore said. “It was awesome to be able to look up and see our mom and dad watching us. It meant a lot to me and him, and it was just really fun.”
Moore said his four years at Utah State have been great, he doesn’t have any regrets, has learned a lot, school- and basketball-wise, and has become a better person.
“It’s been some of the best four years of my life,” Moore said.
Moore said his biggest accomplishment was when he passed 1,000 career points after scoring 16 against Colorado State (Feb. 17, 2016).
“It’s a pretty hard thing to do in your career,” Moore said of the feat.
Moore said his next biggest accomplishment was when he passed his father on the all-time scoring list against Idaho State (Nov. 19). Jimmy Moore, who then occupied the No. 25 spot, had 1,164 points, but Jalen Moore scored 13 points in the game and passed his father with a pair of technical free throws in the second half, recording 1,173 career points at the time.
“It felt good to me to be able to pass him like that,” Moore said. “It made me feel pretty successful.”
Duryea said he will miss the total package of Moore.
“Not very often do you get to coach 6-8, 6-9 players that are as skilled as he is, so it’s fun to watch him play every day,” Duryea said. “It’s fun to watch him perform.”
Moore scored in double figures for 34 consecutive games between his junior and senior seasons, which is the seventh-longest streak in USU history. Along with the streak, Moore is also in the top-20 in 10 other Utah State career records: points (ninth, 1,599), 3-point field goals (eighth, 167), 3-pointers attempted (seventh, 439), field goals attempted (seventh, 1,179), 10-point games (sixth, 89), games played (seventh, 123), blocks (seventh, 69), rebounds (19th, 643), minutes played (seventh, 3,739) and starts (10th, 95). Moore is the only player in Utah State history to be in the top-10 in both 3-point field goals and blocked shots, and is one of 10 Aggies to record 1,500 career points and 600 career rebounds. Moore could finish the season as one of just three Aggies to ever lead Utah State in scoring and rebounding for three years, the other two being Greg Grant (1982-84, 1985-86) and Marvin Roberts (1968-71).
“It just is awesome that they keep track of that and to see how far I’ve come since my freshman year,” Moore said.
Duryea said he has seen Moore grow physically and mentally. Duryea said while Moore was about the same height as he is now, he was about 40 lbs. lighter when he first arrived at USU.
“Physically he’s, obviously, grown up, he’s gotten stronger, which in turn has made him a better player,” Duryea said.
Duryea said Moore is as steady of a basketball player as one could coach.
“You know what you’re going to get day-in-and-day-out,” Duryea said.
Duryea said Moore is steady in terms of physical effort, mental concentration, knowing the game plan, executing both offensively and defensively, and being a good teammate.
“Most of the time, you practice like you play,” Duryea said. “He’s a very steady practice player, therefore, he’s a very steady game player.”
At the end of his junior season, Moore took advantage of the NCAA rule change that allowed underclassmen the opportunity to enter and withdraw from the NBA draft without forfeiting eligibility.
“I wasn’t necessarily out there trying to get drafted. I wanted to put my name out there, our school’s name and get feedback,” Moore said. “I came back and I worked on what they told me to work on, and I think it showed a little bit that I can play and hopefully play at the next level.”
After graduating with a degree in exercise science and a minor in business, Moore’s dream is to play in the NBA or overseas.
“Make money doing what I love to do, that’s the main goal,” Moore said. “And when basketball’s said and done, settle down and do something that I enjoy, something that’s fun for me that I like to do instead of playing basketball.”
Duryea said he is excited to see what the next eight to 15 years bring Moore basketball-wise.
“I think Jalen has a really, really bright future ahead of him,” Duryea said. “I think he can make his mark in the game and I think he could do some really good things and bring a lot of notoriety to Cache Valley and Utah State.”
When he’s not playing basketball, Moore enjoys hanging out with friends, bowling, watching movies and listening to music.
“I don’t like to really be alone, so I like to be with people,” Moore said. “I just like to hang out and be able to talk to people.”
Moore also enjoys playing video games, particularly “Call of Duty” and “NBA 2K.” Moore said he hasn’t played for a little bit, but used to be really good at “Call of Duty.”
“I might be the best “Call of Duty” player on the team, that’s all I’m saying,” Moore said.
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