North Lit­tle Rock’s Moses Moody fo­cus­ing on bas­ket­ball, not re­cruit­ing.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS - RICHARD DAVEN­PORT

LAS VE­GAS — Moses Moody came into the spring and sum­mer bas­ket­ball sea­son some­what of an un­known, but that’s no longer the case.

Moody, 6-5, 170 pounds, has seen his stock rise over the past few months af­ter col­lege coaches were able to see him play for 15-un­der Team Su­per­star South of Lit­tle Rock on the Un­der Ar­mour cir­cuit.

He said his father keeps him in the dark when it comes to col­lege coaches in­quir­ing about him be­cause he wants his son to re­main fo­cused on school and his game.

“I re­ally don’t know the schools that’s re­cruit­ing me,” Moody said. “They talk to my dad. He doesn’t want me too in­volved in that. He said it’s none of my busi­ness.”

De­spite col­lege coaches from the Univer­sity of Arkansas, Fayet­teville, Bay­lor, UCLA and others show­ing up for his games, Moody has tun­nel vi­sion.

“I see col­lege coaches there for ev­ery game,” Moody said. “I just try and put on my best per­for­mance. I’m not try­ing to im­press the coaches. I just play my game.”

He led Team Su­per­star South to a 70-68 vic­tory over New Heights on Thurs­day in pool play at the Las Ve­gas FAB 48, scor­ing 25 points to help his team im­prove to 34-5 this sum­mer. He hit a buzzer-beat­ing three-point shot in over­time that was well be­hind the three-point line to win the game. He also had five re­bounds and two as­sists.

“It was wide open and it was right there,” Moody said of the game- win­ning shot. “My team trusted me with the shot, so I had to try and pro­vide for my team. As soon as it left my hand, I could tell it was go­ing in.”

Moody, who played at Lit­tle Rock Parkview as a fresh­man, will play his sopho­more year at North Lit­tle Rock. He has ex­tremely long arms. His wing­span was mea­sured at 6 feet, 10 inches in the sev­enth grade and now is likely 7 feet.

Team Su­per­star South Coach Mar­land Smith de­scribes Moody’s game as “smooth.”

“You’re talk­ing about a player that can score on all three lev­els,” Smith said. “He make the jumpers, he can shoot the mid-range and he can get to the bas­ket. His game is very smooth. It’s the only way you can de­scribe it.

“Once his body fills out, I pre­dict him to be a top-10 player in his class be­cause of the tools he has.”

Smith also said he was not sur­prised Moody hit the win­ning shot.

“That last shot de­scribes Moses,” he said. “He wants the ball in his hands at the end of the game so he can make a shot like that.”

Smith said Arkansas, UCLA, Bay­lor, In­di­ana, Ok­la­homa, Ok­la­homa State and Texas Tech are just some of the schools that have in­quired about Moody.

“Be­fore it’s over and done, I be­lieve he’ll have a chance to play wher­ever he wants to play,” Smith said.

Moody, who wears a size 16 shoe, said he grew up root­ing for the Hogs.

“I’m from Arkansas,” said Moody, who plans to visit Fayet­teville in Au­gust. “I was al­ways watch­ing them.”

Team Su­per­star South has other im­pres­sive tal­ent, in­clud­ing ath­letic wing player Jerry Iliya, 6-5, 180, of Plano (Texas) John Paul II.

“He’s strong, he’s fast, he has long arms,” Smith said. “He can jump. The next thing for him is de­vel­op­ing his skill and once he gets that, he’s def­i­nitely a high ma­jor. He al­ready has an of­fer from Texas Tech.”

Smith said he be­lieves Jonathan Aku, 6-10, 200, of Proc­ter Acad­emy in Andover, N.H., is an­other ma­jor col­lege prospect.

“He has a real solid frame,” Smith said. “He has to get stronger. He’s only played bas­ket­ball for a year. Some schools have been call­ing about him as well.”

Don­ald Gho­s­tone, 6-7, 160, of Grand Prairie, Texas, is a good shooter and ball handler with a big up­side.

“He’s very thin, but he’s 6-7,” Smith said. “If you can get 10 to 15 pounds of mus­cle on him and with the way he shoots the ball, you can’t ask for any­thing bet­ter than that.”

Bay­lor has asked Moody, Iliya, Aku and Gho­s­tone to visit Waco next month.

Fresh­man point guard Madi­son Pear­son, 6-2, 170, who was an eighth grader last year at Ho­race Mann in Lit­tle Rock, has a chance to be a highly re­cruited prospect.

“His dad is 6-7 and his mom is 6-2,” Smith said. “As a point guard, he’s strong and he can get to the bas­ket when­ever he wants.”

Email Richard Daven­port at rdav­en­port@arkansason­

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