With Seattle backing, Moore to take his shot

AS A MEMBER of the Seattle basketball community, what's become important to Reggie Moore centers around three things – fraternity, brotherhood and camaraderie. The WSU point guard will head into his senior season of college hoops in 2012 with a pair of former Huskies squarely in his corner. And Moore also says he now has something he never had during his childhood.

A role model. That position has been filled by seven-year NBA veteran and Golden State Warrior guard Nate Robinson. Both Rainer Beach High alums, Reggie Moore (6-1, 180) and Nate Robinson (5-9, 180) have formed quite the bond this summer, with Robinson acting as a big brother.

Moore has primarily been in Pullman working on his game this offseason, months in advance of the Cougs' regular season tip-off in November. However, he's regularly traveled back to Seattle, staying with Robinson while in town. The two work out with one another and Robinson shares life experiences he's had since arriving to the NBA in 2005.

"Nate really changed my mind about how I think about the game," Moore said. "He told me to really push myself and be ahead of everyone. I know I can pass, I led the league in assists. But I need to score and look for my shot. To be honest, I never had a role model and Nate really became my role model."

MOORE AND ROBINSON have known each other for a long time. But this summer, their friendship has been taken to a new level.

"It's a blessing man, God is good," Robinson said last week on his relationship with Moore. "I've been watching Reggie since he was in 8th grade and been a fan of his for a long time. We just play ball and have fun. He can jump, score and I told him it's his senior year and you have to leave everything on the floor."

During his freshman season with the Cougs, Moore averaged 12.7 points per game and shot 41.7 percent from the floor. He hasn't topped those figures since. Granted, in his three years running the point, he's been passing off to Klay Thompson (Golden State), DeAngelo Casto (Europe) and fellow WSU senior Brock Motum, who led the Pac-12 in scoring last season, (18.0 ppg).

"One thing about Reggie is he knows how to control the game and he's real athletic," Robinson said. "He can turn on scoring whenever he needs to and he's gotten better every year. He's had guys in front of him that have been the No. 1 option but I told him to play like he did in high school and play for his love of the game."

It's not new advice. WSU head man Ken Bone has been telling Moore the same thing.

"Every year I've been here, he's encouraged me to shoot more," Moore said. "To be honest, it's all about confidence. I can shoot and I've always been able to score but I've got to be better from close, deep and my step back shots. I think this season will be a big year in taking steps forward."

MOORE'S CONFIDENCE LEVEL will be revealed in November, but his support structure is already there. On top of Robinson, Moore said he's been in communication with two others who call the Seattle area home -- former UW and current NBA guards Tony Wroten (Memphis Grizzlies) and Isaiah Thomas (Sacramento Kings).

Moore, Robinson and Thomas have worked out together several times this summer, with Robinson saying the WSU/UW rivalry is put aside.

"We're all real close," Robinson said. "That's one thing that we share. We're competitive with each other but we rep our city really hard. I'm really proud to say I'm from Seattle. We have Doug Christie, Jason Terry, Brandon Roy, Aaron Brooks, Martell Webster, Spencer Hawes and so many more that represent our hometown. And Reggie will probably be the next."

For Moore to get to the NBA, it will certainly take plenty of hard work in 2012. A quick check of five well-known internet sites that carry NBA mock drafts doesn't show Moore's name listed on any of them. That doesn't matter to Robinson.

"I definitely expect him to play in the NBA," Robinson said with conviction. "I think he's a great player that can do work in The League because he loves the game. It's rare to have guys make it for love of the game. He's not about being famous. When you take it too seriously you lose those childhood memories of making your dreams come true. Guys lose track of who they are, but your individuality is something you need to grasp."

BOTH MOORE AND Robinson have tattoos on their right hand that reads RPC, an acronym for "Rat Pat Click." The tattoo is a testament to being gym rats, Robinson said, spending hours on the hardwood to achieve their goals.

Moore's dream is to face Robinson, Thomas, Wroten and all the other Seattle natives in an NBA arena.

"For sure, 100 percent I'll make it," Moore said. "I have no choice so I better go get it."

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