Rasheed Moore is a 23 year old 198cm forward from Wilkes-Barre playing his second professional season with the wiha Panthers Villingen-Schwenningen (Germany-Regionalliga). Last season as a rookie he helped lead the team into the Pro B playing 27 games averaging 21.4ppg, 7.4rpg, 1.7apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 31.4%, FT: 75.5%. He began his basketball career at Martin Luther King High School. He then played at E.Stroudsburg (NCAA2) from 2013-2017 playing a total of 106 NCAA 2 games and as a senior played 26 games averaging 19.0ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.1apg, 1.0spg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 48.0%, FT: 79.2%. He spoke to germanhoops.com before the playoff series against Giessen.
Rasheed thanks for talking germanhoops.com You have experienced many exciting things in your basketball career, but where does the playoff series rank against SC Rist Wedel?
Thank you Miles for taking the time to reach out to talk to me, and yes I have experienced many exciting things in my career but this series will always have a special place with me because it was my first playoff series. Not only was it my first playoff series but it was also our club’s first playoff series so being able to get a win for our organization just means a lot.
How important was it having playoff experience with E Stroudsburg (NCAA2)? Did you feel like at home in game three in Wedel? It could happen again with Giessen if you’re faced with a do or die?
For me it was very important to have playoff experience and playing in games where every possession matters. You have to know how to react and respond in crucial moments of the game. With 4 years of playoff experience at East Stroudsburg I learned how to control my emotions and composure at the most crucial parts of the games. For game three in Wedel we did not feel like we were at home but we did not let their fans rattle us. We were all able to keep our composure and just find a way to win. That is what you have to do on the road in the playoffs.
Congrats on beating SC Rist Wedel 2-1. How difficult was this series for the club? The club had to travel twice to Wedel covering 2000 kilometers. Do you feel like surviving this series could capitulate the wiha panthers to greater things as the playoffs continue?
Thank you and this was a very difficult series for the club. Wedel was a very good fundamentally sound basketball team who has not lost on their home court all so they were not an easy team to beat and they never gave up. The series came down to the last shot and could have gone either way but since we were able to come out with the win then I feel like we could keep the momentum moving forward.
Game Three was a real nail bitter. The wiha panthers were behind by double-digit points, but never gave up. What was key in the fourth quarter for saving the season and winning the series?
The keys in the fourth quarter for us was to just stick together and trust one another while leaving everything we had in us on the court. Even when we were down by double digits we never panicked and knew we would find a way to come back. We just trusted in one another to go and make the plays that we have all year long. With that trust in one another we were able to make the plays we needed to make.
A big aspect to the game three was the team sharing of the ball. You had a solid game but not massive game. How vital was it having a lot of support from many guys especially German Leon Friederici who has had a tough up and down season.
It is very vital to have other team members step up and have a very crucial input on the game. One or two does not win the game so to have someone step up and play as well as Leon has played has been key for us. But I also have to give a lot of credit to our captain Kosta. He is normally our distributor and playmaker but in game 3 he stepped up and scored when we needed it most.
The wiha Panthers next battle the Rackelos Giessen 46ers. You split the season series with them. What kind of series can we await and what will be the key to the win?
You can expect another war just like the Wedel series. It is not going to be easy especially when they have home court advantage so we will have to win at least one game on the road in order to advance past them. The key in the series for us will be our defense. When we played in Giessen the last time we allowed them the second most points we have given up all year, which is not acceptable.
How much respect do you have for Johannes Lischka? Is he one of those players that a player always has to be prepared for?
I have a lot of respect for him. He is very good player that can do a little bit of everything so of course you have to do a lot prepare for a player like that.
What have you appreciated most about most about strapping on a panthers uniform?
I have appreciated everything but what I have appreciated most has been just the opportunity to be here and be able to play the game I love in front of our great fans for the past 2 years.
What were the main reasons for the club ending the season on a sour note?
We all just weren’t playing well as a team. We were playing well defensively but offensively we were in a drought. We just couldn’t find ways to score and when we did have open shots we were struggling to make them but now we finally broke through and are finding ways to score.
What was your favorite moment of the season?
My favorite moment from this year has to be the win in Wedel just because it meant so much to some of our guys who have never been in a playoff series before. It was also the clubs first playoff win so it meant a lot to not only just me but a lot of our fans as well.
What have you appreciated most about Kosta Karamatskos and has his leadership skills trickled down on you?
What I appreciate most about Kosta is his ability to just control the game and when he has the ball in his hands. He just knows how to be the general and put us in the spots for us to be able to score if he gets us the ball. As for his leadership it helps not only myself but also the whole team. Some of the things he taught me about being a leader will definitely stay with me for the rest of my career.
How beneficial has it been battling Bill Borekambi on a daily basis?
Bill is an unbelievable scorer so to have to guard him every day in practice. It helps a lot when it comes to the games. He has a lot of different moves and can score in a lot of different ways so yea there’s a lot one can learn from him. When you play with someone who is so talented at what they do then you have to just ask questions and observe their work ethic to try and make yourself better.
How much stronger is the team now at the point guard position with the added experience and minutes that Abaker got in the time where your captain was out?
The team got a lot stronger while Kosta was out because Abu was able to figure some things out about his own game and grow into a very good point guard. So now with our captain back we also have a very good point guard who provides a much different aspect to our team. Abu allows us to play much more aggressive defensively because he is very quick and is great at pressuring the ball full court. So because of this aspect the team got much stronger and more versatile with the injury to our captain.
If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?
One player I would compare my game to would be someone like Paul George. A bigger guard who can not only play in the post if he has a mismatch but can also take the ball and play outside. He is someone who can create not only for himself but for others as well.
What has been your biggest challenge playing at the Pro B level?
My biggest challenge playing at the Pro B level was adjusting from the intensity level from the Regonalliga to the Pro B. It did not take me very long to adjust but it was still a lot different from my first year playing professionally to the second year.
In what areas of your game do you see yourself making more strides in the next years?
The areas I see myself making strides in is being able to handle the ball more and being able to make more plays for others. I have already seen some growth in these aspects over the last 2 years but it is something I still want to continue to improve on over the next couple years.
How focused are you on getting your shooting up and what improvements are you trying to make in this area?
I am very focused to fix my shooting. I am used to making some of the shots that I have been missing recently so the main thing is to just not let it get to me mentally. I just have to keep getting in the gym and getting more shots up. This was one of the strengths in my game so I will get back to making the shots that I am accustomed to making.
What have you appreciated most about head coach Alen Velcic?
I appreciate his passion for the game. He will always push us to be at our best, which is why when we were struggling at the end of the season it was so hard for all of us. We all have so much passion for the game that we never wanted the regular season to end the way it did. So I appreciate that he is just as passionate as we are when it comes to winning.
Has there ever been a time where you hated him or is that impossible since you seem to be his favorite player on the squad?
There has never been a time I hated him. Of course in certain situations throughout a long season a coach gets into it with his players. With me it was no different but I would never say I hated him at any point. He was just doing his job and trying to get the best out of me.
How has he helped make you a better player?
He has helped with a lot of things but most importantly he helped me be more patient. I have learned to let the game come to me instead of trying to force the issue. In my first year I was forcing to many things but I have learned to be a lot more patient and it is thanks to him.
Last season you hit Crailsheim for 35 points, Mainz for 32 points and Limburg for 31 points in three straight games. Was that the best basketball you have played as a professional?
Yea I think that was the best couple games that I had in a row as a professional. I just got into a zone and sometimes it just goes on for a couple of games so when I was able to put up 3 games in a row of scoring 30 points I would say that was the best basketball I played.
What have you learned to appreciate most about Germany?
I have learned to appreciate the cultural differences. That is why I originally wanted to play overseas. I wanted to be able to experience and see how different things are in other cultures while being able to play the game I love.
Was your favorite moment winning the PSAC tournament in 2014?
My favorite moment was of course winning the PSAC tournament as a Warrior. That is one of your main goals when you get to the program because of the amazing culture in the program. So to be able to win the conference tournament on our home court is one thing I will always cherish about my time at ESU.
Where would you rank the game where you had 33 points and 16 rebounds over Lock Haven?
This game would have to be in my top 5 games I have ever played just because I was able to have such a great overall game. It was also the last time playing on our home floor in my career at ESU so this will also be something.
How did coach Wilson groom and prepare you for a professional basketball career?
Coach Wilson pushed me to be the best I could be. He wanted me to expand my game every year and to never be satisfied because there is always something to improve on and this has stuck with me.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Kobi Nwandu?
Kobi was one of the best defenders I have ever had as a teammate but we would always go back and fourth. He would get me a couple times but I would also win my share of the times when we played.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA2 that is now in the NBA?
One of the toughest players that I played against is not in the NBA right now. Although he is not in the NBA yet he is projected to get drafted in the next NBA draft. He played for Lock Haven and his name is Amir Hinton. He was just someone who knew how to score the ball no matter what kind of defense you would throw at him. This year just proved this because he was the nations leading scorer.
If you had to pick your personal favorite starting five of teammates over the years which players would you chose.
My favorite starting 5 would have to be Matt Tobin, Whis Grant, Lamont Tillery, and Steve Harris. All of these guys went to ESU and if I could put these guys together we would be able to have a lot of fun.
If you had to conduct your very own NBA mount Rushmore which 4 heads would you pick?
My mount Rushmore would have to be Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Lebron James, and Wilt Chamberlain
What is your personal opinion on the never ending debate of who is the greatest between Michael Jordan and Lebron James?
My opinion will never change on this topic and I believe Michael is the greatest but I also recognize the greatness of Lebron. I grew up watching Michael and just how he had the ability to take over games and make the shots he needed to for his team in the biggest moments.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I’m not the biggest movie guy but I think the last movie that I watched recently was The Dark Knight Rises. I love the whole batman trilogy and find all of them to be great movies to watch.
Thanks Rasheed for the chat.