The New York tri-state is a familiar place to J.J. Moore. He grew up in Brentwood— a town in Suffolk county on Long Island, New York— then spent three collegiate seasons at Pittsburg and one at Rutgers. He started his G League career with the Long Island Nets, which is a short drive away from his hometown.
Moore participated in a tryout with Long Island in 2016, which was an important event that gave him a chance to show what he could bring to the team.
“It was really important,” Moore told Ridiculous Upside. “Just going out there and showing everybody that I belong and that’s what I did. Just like I said, I’m just going to keep pushing myself every day. Pushing my teammates every day and then we’re going to go out there and hopefully make it very far in the playoffs.”
Moore used that opportunity during the 2016-17 season and showed he could be a valuable contributor on the Nets. He spent consecutive seasons (2016-17 and 2017-18) with Long Island then spent the following campaign with Asociacion Deportiva Atenas (Argentina) and CD Las Animas (Chile). After spending last season in South America, Moore wanted to come back to the NBAGL.
“I wanted to come back,” Moore said. “Last year, I didn’t get to come back and play in the G League, so this year this was my statement year. I ain’t getting any younger. But at the same time, kids ain’t getting any younger as well. They’re getting older. And in my experience and my heart, I’m a vet, so I got a lot of experience and stuff like this.”
Not only is Moore back in the G League, but he is back home. About an hour drive northwest from his hometown of Brentwood, Moore continued his career with the Westchester Knicks. For a local player that grew up on Long Island, it’s been good for him to play for two local teams and continue to work towards his dream while playing in front of his family and friends.
“Just having friends and family come down and watch the game,” Moore said. “Got my wife and my kids and it’s always a pleasure to play in front of them. That’s one part of going overseas is just hard because you know family is home. Now that I’m home, it’s a good thing to even push me even more because the girls are always watching me play. So it’s a good thing.”
The calendar has changed to a new year and Moore continues to excel in his role with the second unit. Not only is he a vocal leader on the team, but he is an efficient shooter and defends. Moore has his vision set making it to the Association and says the team is keeping him motivated as the season progresses.
“Just the team,” Moore said. “I do have that one goal of making it to the NBA. But at the same time, it’s always that one goal to make it far in the G League season so that people can look at you. They’re not going to look at you if you’re losing games, so we just got to keep picking up our pace and come out here every day to try to win ourselves some games.”
It’s been quite the journey for Moore. He has picked up years of experience throughout his career, which has molded him as a player. Moore remains a valuable player in Westchester and attributes that to his teammates and the opportunity he received.
“Seeing different cultures,” Moore said. “Seeing different players of different stature and just bringing it into the season that I’m dedicated to, so just going out there competing and giving it my all is the one thing that I provide for a team.”
“Just my teammates,” he continued. “Just giving me the opportunity to go out there and give them me. Give them J.J. Moore. They’re just going to keep pushing me. You know, I learn from them the same as them learning from me, so I’m just going to keep going and hopefully we’re going to come out with some.”