May 16, 2016

Moore ready to breakout

Kevin McCarthy

photo of Lizzie Moore

Most basketball players say they love the game but the evidence of such, affirming or negating their amor, is available for all to see in their individual levels of effort. Lizzie Moore demonstrates her commitment to betterment by rising daily at 5:00 a.m. to run and work out at the gym and the 6-foot-3 2018 prospect's production recently earned notice from ESPN.

A sophomore at Valley Christian High in San Jose and a member of the West Valley Basketball Club (WVBC), Moore's play in a recent travel team tournament held in Phoenix was highlighted by Dan Olson, publisher of the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report and director of ESPNW HoopsGurlz, after he saw her go for 18 points plus 12 rebounds.

Olson offered, "Moore is a solid mid-major back-to-the-basket post player with some face up game in the key. She plays with a blue collar persona. There's definitely a limited number of pure post players available so it will be interesting where she ends up. She isn't an elite player yet but I could see schools like Nevada, Boise State, San Jose State and Northridge for her."

WVBC Coach Bob Bramlett is effusive in his praise of Moore. "Lizzie's work ethic, along with her attention to detail, will make her a great candidate. She is a very hard working young lady and a great teammate as well as leader. Obviously her time spent working with a trainer out of the Peninsula has really played a huge role in her development. She is very comfortable with either hand and has great footwork."

Asked to detail her best basketball skills, Moore modestly said, "playing with my back to the basket and as a helpside defender."

In a Jeckyl-and-Hyde type analogy about her hoops situation, Moore plays on a Valley Christian team employing a wing centric offense. This season, she averaged 6.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks while shooting 48 percent from the field and 63 percent from the line for the Warriors who put up 55 points per game. "My primary jobs are to rebound and set screens at Valley Christian," she explained. But with West Valley, "I get the ball in the post a lot."

Always playing up for her age, she made the Valley Christian varsity as a freshman and, after recovering from an injury, started in her initial year.

Moore played lacrosse earlier "but I didn't like it." In a demonstration of the power of positive feedback, "I was told I had a lot of potential in basketball" and thus her attachment to hoops was cemented.

Last summer, she trained with Donovan Blythe up in East Palo Alto and "I had a great time." This spring, Moore chose to work out and play closer to home. She noted three primary basketball influences: her father, Blythe and Bramlett plus Tariq Abdul-Wahad, a former NBA player, who mentored her in middle school in the start of her footwork and post moves.

Both Valley Christian captains are graduating this calendar year so look for Moore to elevate into a greater leadership role. As she succinctly put it, "I'm not afraid to speak up."

She has already received an invitation to attend the Clemson University elite camp this summer, an indicator of what she has already demonstrated thus far this spring.

As someone once sang (with one slight change), Moore has only just begun.