Karl Moore is a 29 year old 203cm forward born in 1987 that is playing his third professional season with Aguilas de Tunja (Colombia-Liga DirecTV) after completing the season with the Crailsheim Merlins 2 team where he averaged 25,9pp. Last season he played for Telstar Hesperange (Luxembourg-N2). As a rookie, he played for TV 1872 Saarlouis (Germany-ProB) where he played 28 games averaging 16.3ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 60.7%, FT: 73.5%. He scored in double figures in 25 of 28 games including three double doubles. He scored 20 points or more eight times. His best scoring games was 28 points against Hanau and 27 points against BG Karlsruhe. He played college ball at Schoolcraft Community College (JUCO), Rio Grande(NAIA), and Culver Stockton (NAIA). He spoke to German Hoops about his season with the Crailsheim Merlins 2 team and new basketball adventure in Columbia.
Karl thanks for talking to German Hoops. You could be home in Detroit enjoying late spring, but instead earning additional money in Columbia. How good is life at the moment?
You’re welcome Miles. It’s always a pleasure doing interviews with you. I remember one night back in the year of 2014, I spent over eight hours on eurobasket searching for agents and coaches to contact for an opportunity. Here we are three years later doing our fourth interview together. Getting back to the question that you asked, life for me at this moment is going well. I serve an awesome God, He may not have been there when I wanted him, but He was always there on time.
Before we get to your next basketball adventure in South America, let us look back to your season in Germany. You played with TSV Crailsheim Merlins 2nd team (Germany-2.Regionalliga). Were you satisfied with your season? You averaged 25,9ppg?
Yes, I was satisfied with my season in Crailsheim. I came there and did what they paid me to do, which was to lead their team to a championship. It was no surprise to me being the league leading scorer. All season long during our days off from practice, I was either in the weight room or outside running 18 miles per week. It felt good seeing the sacrifices such as those pay off.
After being a rookie in the Pro B with Saarlouis and then playing in the second league in Luxemburg last season, how do you see playing in the second Regionalliga positively as not being a step back?
When the process became hard to trust, I always believed that everything both the good and bad works together for the good of those who love God. Starting off my career on the Pro B level then going to the Regionalliga league had humbled me. There I learned how to lead a team under any circumstance and became a much better teammate.
You had the chance all season long to practice with German Pro A team in Crailsheim. How do you feel about your game developing last season with the combination of playing Regionalliga 2 and also practicing with the big boys of the Pro A team Crailsheim?
When I arrived in Crailsheim, the plan was for me to practice with the Pro A team. I was able to play in all the preseason games. I performed well and brought a lot of energy unto the floor. The head coach already had the players that he wanted. Therefore when the last player arrived to Crailsheim, I was told not to practice anymore. During that time, I could’ve easily became frustrated at the fact that I wasn’t able to attend anymore practices but I kept a positive attitude.
Do you feel that with your second season in Germany all wrapped up that it could be very likely that you will return to Germany next season as you continue to make a name for yourself?
My options are always open. I was always told from experienced players that I am a Middle East type of player. Being out here playing in the top league of Colombia, I finally see what they were talking about. My style of play fits well here.
How excited are you to be in Colombia? Talk a bit how this new opportunity came about with Aguilas de Tunja (Colombia-Liga DirecTV)? How key was German head coach Kevin Magdowski who has coached in Luxemburg for years.
I am extremely excited. I put in years and years of working on my craft so that I can dominate on this type of level when the opportunity approached. This job came across me from a player who had been observing my facebook page. He liked how much faith that I had in God and admired my hunger. God placed me on his heart for some time. God truly works in mysterious ways. Coach Kevin knew of me through averaging 34 points per game in Luxemburg, When we spoke on the phone for the first time a week ago, one of the things that stood out the most to me was when he said “I don’t care what people may think of you, I just want to win.” Hearing those words come from him, made my decision that much easy for me to come here and help win a league title.
How much of taking this job weighs in with the idea that getting extra exposure could help you land a good job for next season?
I am aware that playing here could lead to other opportunities to play in countries such as Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, etc. Everyone knows that those are good paying countries. Imagining myself playing in one of those places and bringing a championship to either of the organizations is motivation within itself.
What has been your first impression of the play in Colombia? How would you compare it to the other leagues in Germany and Luxemburg that you have played in?
Knowing that there are a lot of experienced Americans that play in this league, my first impression of playing in Colombia was not to let them outwork me. As we know, there are different levels of competition but talent is talent to me. I dislike the fact that most players talent get judged based off the level that they are playing on. From experience, I have seen some of the most hungry players with no opportunity and I have seen players play on top levels with no hunger for the game.
There are some very experienced guys in this league including ex BBL player Amir Carraway. How important has your patience been in general the last few years sticking to the process as your route continues even if only slowly up the basketball level ladder?
Right now, I am blessed to be leading the league in scoring and rebounding. To hear that there are experienced players who have played in big leagues playing in this league, motivates me to keep going hard. Having patience wasn’t always easy. The process can be tough, especially if you don’t have many connections. I was always taught that it is best to be ready and not get the call, then to not be ready and get the call. Knowing that, I always made sure that I stayed hungry and stayed ready. Having the talent to play on any level was always inside of me but the lack of opportunity is what made this journey seem a bit slow, while moving up the basketball ladder.
You needed no adjustment period scoring 48 points in your first game. When you stepped on the court, did you feel as though you could have such an extraordinary game in your debut?
The same way that I played in Germany and Luxemburg is the same way that I am playing here. No adjustments needed to be made. All I ever needed was the opportunity to play on a bigger platform. I am a special type of player. To be able to score 48 points while shooting 20/27 from the field was outstanding. My teammates did a good job at finding me in my sweet spots. What keeps my motor going while over here is knowing that I got family back at home who are struggling and a daughter who needs me. Therefore regardless of what level that I am playing on, I will treat my opponent as if they are taking food from off my family plate.
You were lethal all around going 20/27. Does this first taste of the league already have your confidence at a level where you believe that you could be an MVP type player?
Yes, all praises goes to God.
This is a time when you would normally be back in the gym at home in the States, but instead are playing more competitive games. What goals do you have in Columbia with your game? What do you believe can you achieve now besides getting extra competitive experience that you wouldn´t have gotten had you been home now?
If I was at home right now, I would be playing in the PBL (Provinground Basketball League). It’s a summer league located in Detroit, Michigan and have some of the most competitive games that I ever played in. I don’t want to start listing names because I don’t want to leave no one out but in that summer league, there are all type of players who played at the division one college level, overseas, and NBA. One goal while out here in Colombia is to do whatever the team needs me to do, so that we can be in good positions to win games. While out here, I can achieve by showing others that I can play in competitive leagues such as this one. I wouldn’t had been able to do that while at home because I most likely would’ve been judged based off where I played before.
Besides helping the team win, will you use your time in Columbia only to work on your strengths or do you feel like the league and style would also help you work on other parts of your game?
Both, I am not the perfect player but I am always looking forward to working on my strengths, as well as learning how to become the total package player.
You are concentrating on basketball, but you can´t deny the beauty of Columbia. Your living in Boyaca which is in the northern part of the country near Venezuela. What has fascinated you most so far about living there?
I am staying in Tunja, it is two hours away from Boyaca. I flew into Boyaca and had a chance to view the city. I must say that it’s a beautiful place. Can’t wait to fly my family out here so that they can be able to see this side of the world.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
With that type of performance, it shows how mentally locked in that he was during that game. Basketball is truly 90% mental and 10% game.
Draymond Green recently had a triple double without scoring 10 points or more. Why do you believe has it taken long for someone to do this?
That is a good question, I actually don’t know why it took long for someone to do that but it shows how much that the game of basketball is evolving.
Devin Booker lit up the Boston Celtics and was only the sixth player to ever have done that in the NBA. Did it surprise you that it was him and not someone else as there are other guys that come to mind that could probably have done it before the talented 20 year old?
Yes, it was surprising to see him do it there before seeing Steph Curry.
What is your opinion about Boston Celtic point guard Isaiah Thomas. Is he a top 5 NBA point guard at the moment or does he need a big playoff run to get there?
When I look at Isaiah Thomas, I see heart. He is listed at a height that others believe can’t play in the NBA. Secondly, he was the last pick in the NBA draft. Seeing the things that he is doing with the Boston Celtics shows where hard work can get you. Rather he is a top five NBA point guard or not, he has proved a lot of people wrong.
How special was the run of South Carolina at the 2017 NCAA tournament? Do you feel like this was the story of March Madness 2017?
South Carolina had a good run in the March Madness. Hard work always beat talent when talent doesn’t work hard. They reminded me of the Butler team that made it to the final four a couple years ago. Teams like those are considered Cinderella story’s when making it that far in the tournament. There is nothing more special than that.
Is Lonzo Ball the real thing? Do you feel like he will be able to develop further despite the antics of his father on social media?
I haven’t had a chance to watch that much college basketball being that I was out the country playing in Germany for eight months. I haven’t watched a full game of Lonzo Ball game to give my opinion about him. But I have heard that he is a good player and his dad constantly making head lines. I have had the chance to watch one of his dad interviews and that man can sure speak his mind lol.
There has been criticism of Russell Westbrook to be focusing more on rebounding to help inflate his stats and possibilities of getting triple doubles instead of focusing on his defensive assignments. Do you feel that this is a fair assessment to the player Russell Westbrook?
Being that his team had no chance at making it to the finals, I don’t see nothing wrong with him going and making history another way.
What was the last movie that you saw?
“Kidnap” which is a film starred by Halle Berry.
Thanks Karl for the chat.