Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Moor bids adieu and bonjour

We thought one final chat with San Jose State men's basketball signee Aalim Moor was in order so we dialed him up the other day and posed some questions. As background information, Moor is a 6-foot-3 point guard and just graduated from St. Mary's High in Berkeley.

Putting first things first, we inquired about the NBA Finals and who was going to emerge the victor between the Lakers and the Magic, Moor is flying the Lakers flag, with a very special reason. He said, "The Lakers are more experienced and battle-tested," but the foremost factor in his judgment is that, "Kobe [Bryant] will not let them lose." Moor is a Bryant acolyte, who relishes the uber-ferocity and focus the Laker star -- aka the Black Mamba -- displays. If there is a Bryant video available then Moor has it and any Bryant game appearance means do not call, text or tweet Moor, that is if you expect a response prior to the contest concluding or even some time afterwards. San Jose State fans will cherish any displays of Mamba-esque behavior -- putting all you have into the game and letting the emotions flow -- on Walt McPherson Court.

Aalim Moor
Moor's dunk against Salesian was Kobe-esque

Then for those unfamiliar, we re-visited why Moor decided to align himself with Spartan basketball. "It felt right," he said, adding, "it was the most comfortable of the opportunities for me and the coaches showed the most interest and how much they cared. My sense was it's the best situation for me to develop as a player and a person."

With high school now in his rear view mirror, we focused on his tenure at St. Mary's. Asked about the best thing in graduating, Moor responded, "Freedom." When we reversed the question and queried about the worst part concerning leaving his 'home' of the past four years, he again offered, "Freedom. It's both a good and a bad thing depending on how you handle it."

Aalim Moor
The Moor family celebrating St. Mary's graduation

What also caught our attention is his response to what was his favorite class at St. Mary's: "Ethics and Values because I learned a lot about life in it." Now that is quite the unusual response from a teenager but, then again, we aren't talking about the average 18-year-old.

Aalim Moor
Real men were wearing pink on prom night

Returning to a subject that continues to fascinate us, we offered that it seemed East Bay basketballers were tough SOBs on the court and wanted his take on the subject. He said, "A lot of the guards from the East Bay are hardnosed and fearless in competition. I took that from the older guys [who preceded him in the annals of hoops history in the area]." Moor is a historian of Oakland hoops, appreciative and respectful of those who preceded him and there is quite the yesteryear what with Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, Brian Shaw, Quentin Thomas, Loren Leath, Antonio Kellogg, Ayinde Ubaka, Armondo Surratt, Robert Owens, Tim Pierce, Paul Pierce (born in Oakland) and many others.

Moor has earned a place in Oakland basketball lore

Finally, we were curious how many of the Moor clan and their family friends would be seated at Walt McPherson Court for Spartan home games. The soon-to-be college freshman said he wasn't sure of the number "but it will be a lot."

We offer a hearty welcome to the new Spartan.

Moor will bring leadership to San Jose State hoops

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