During the toughest time of his life, Brandon Moore found a comforting home in Arkansas.
Now that it's time for the talented 6-8, 205-pound forward from New Orleans (La.) Holy Cross to pick a college, he might just be returning to his "adopted" home.
"There is no doubt that Arkansas is my number one choice and I have told (Razorback head) Coach (John) Pelphrey they are my top school," Moore said. "I am looking forward to getting up there on Oct. 12."
Moore lived in Little Rock for over a year and played at Episcopal Collegiate when his family was displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
He will indeed take an official visit to University of Arkansas on Oct. 12-14 – the opening weekend of fall practice.
"I got a chance when I was in Little Rock to visit Fayetteville several times and just loved the facilities and the college itself and loved going to the football games," Moore said. "There are different coaches there now than they had back then, but I really love these new guys that are coaching there now."
Pelphrey and his assistants saw Moore play several times this summer for his Texas Bluechips Elite AAU squad.
"I think he is a great coach and it is a program that is really going to be on the rise and up-and-coming," Moore said. "That's a big reason that are number one with me, too."
Arkansas is certainly not the only team trying to land Moore.
Others who stopped by for home visits included Kentucky, Marquette, Louisville, Wichita State, Texas Tech, Florida State and Ole Miss.
"There have been a lot of them and I am very appreciative of all the coaches who have been paying attention to me and recruiting me," Moore said. "That's a lot of great teams."
When asked to give a top five, Moore came up with following list.
"I guess it would be Arkansas definitely at the top and probably Marquette at number two," Moore said. "Ole Miss and Wichita State are in there and I don't know about a fifth right now."
Moore has not set up any other visits than Arkansas to this point.
"I'm definitely going to Arkansas on the 12th," Moore said. "I'm actually just thinking about committing right then, but if something goes wrong I could take a few more visits."
After spending a couple of weeks in Texas after Katrina bowled over New Orleans, Moore and his mom were relocated to Little Rock.
He ended up at Episcopal Collegiate, where he helped the team flourish, get to the state playoffs and was named one publication's sophomore of the year in the state.
He was also named to the AAO Top 25 Camp that spring and shined in that camp's all-star game with 16 points.
"I really enjoyed my time in Little Rock and I think it really helped me grow as a person, especially when my mom was able to go back to New Orleans and I stayed with my coach," Moore said. "I learned how to cook for myself and do a lot of things for myself that will make my transition to college a lot easier."
He also started his junior year at Episcopal Collegiate, even going out for football.
"I really enjoy playing football and think I am pretty good at it, think I might have even got some offers if I had stayed with it," Moore said. "But I think my future is in basketball so I decided I just needed to be playing basketball."
He returned to New Orleans before the season and helped lead Holy Cross to the third round of the state playoffs.
"My mom loved having me back and I loved being back although I really, really enjoyed my time in Arkansas," Moore said. "We became a pretty good team at Holy Cross and I think we are going to have a great team and a chance to win it all this year."
Moore also had his moments this summer while playing for Texas Bluechips Elite, but believes that his game has improved even since the end of the summer.
"There was a lot of stuff going on out in Las Vegas and I don't think I played anywhere near as good as I could," Moore said. "But I have really worked hard since then and think all areas of my game have improved, including my shooting and ballhandling and going to the boards.
"I want to make sure I have a great inside and outside game by the time I am ready for college," Moore said. "Arkansas coaches think I can come in and play both the 3 and 4 for them and really make an impact."
Moore To Come
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