Learning Heart Over Height In Early Years Has Helped Alani Moore(EPG Baskets) Achieve Any Goals He Has Had In His Basketball Life

Alani Moore II (178-PG-1998, college: Temple) is a 24 year old 178cm guard from Rockville, Maryland playing his second professional season and first in Germany with the EPG Baskets Koblenz averaging 15,7ppg, 4,4rpg, 5,5apg and 3,5spg. Last season he played with Sanaat Mes Rafsanjan (Iran-Superleague) playing 16 games averaging 18.8ppg, 4.0rpg, Assists-3 (4.7apg), Steals-4 (2.3spg), FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 76.9%. He began his pro career with the Houston Push (TBL) averaging 12.5ppg, 2.6rpg, 5.2apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 86.1%. He began his basketball career at the Montrose Christian school and also played at Friendship Collegiate Academy. He then played at temple (NCAA) from 2016-2020 playing a total of 122 NCAA games and as a senior averaged 8.4ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.6apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 28.3%, 3PT: 39.8%, FT: 86.1%. He spoke to eurobasket about basketball last summer before heading to Germany..

Alani thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?

Hi, no problem boss man! I’m currently in Clarksburg Maryland handling business things for my store and workout out everyday in Washington DC. Basketball life is treating me well, just staying locked in ready for next season

People may not know it but you went to the same high school as Kevin Durant. Have you tended to follow his path more because of that and what is your take on all the hate he is getting on social media?

I wouldn’t say I followed his path, but I’ve made a lot of connections because of Montrose Christian. In the basketball world and regular life. Social media has come to this point where people are going to do say anything to get noticed. People say he is not making the right moves but people also don’t live the life he lives.

Congrats on signing with German club EPG Baskets Koblenz. What do you know about the country Germany and it’s basketball?

I actually don’t know too much about Germany, I’ve been to Germany one time before in 2016 and had a great time. So, I am excited to see Koblenz and learn about the city.

There have been some guys like Nigel Pruitt who played at your high school Montrose Christian and TJ DiLeo who played at Temple or Robert Gilchrist who was your teammate in Iran and was a rookie in Germany in 2014 with BG Karlsruhe? Did you reach out to any guys and inquire about basketball in Germany?

I haven’t reached out yet, but i will be making those calls soon to get some feedback on what their thoughts were about being and playing in Germany.

How did the talks go with head coach Pat Elzie? He is a coaching legend and is known for having a great feel for unproven guys.

The talks were good and very exciting for me. Can’t wait to play for coach Elzie.

What was the deciding factor that enabled you to sign the contract with the EPG Baskets? What did you appreciate most about this opportunity?

Honestly, the opportunity to play professional basketball in Europe for a good organization and coach is what really enabled me. I appreciate the togetherness and family oriented mind from top to bottom.

Let’s talk a little about your game. You’re a 178cm guard. I’m sure size was always an issue. How soon in your life were you able to block out the doubts that you got and be able to build a healthy consistent self confidence?

When I was about 7th or 8th grade, I always had the mindset of ‘Heart over height’. And that’s because I have a winner’s mentality and there’s nothing or nobody that can deter me from trying to achieve my goals. Once I knew that, height didn’t matter anymore.

Your scoring really stands out. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?

I would say Fred Van Vleet

You can also fill the stat sheet well. What other strengths does your game incorporate that you will have on display in Germany?

Getting other people involved, and also making hustle plays. Those plays can change an entire game around.

You have been a good outside shooter your whole career shooting over 40% in school and in the pro’s. Where do you see your shot development now and where do you want to get it to?

It’s always improving and room for improvement so anywhere to the high 40s and above would be good. I would love to shoot 50% from the 3.

Your small and I assume that you will get in passing lanes and get steals, but how do you battle against bigger and stronger guards on the defensive end?

Being smarter and mentally stronger. Being very handsy and using my quickness.

Last season you played with Sanaat Mes Rafsanjan (Iran-Superleague) averaging18.8ppg, 4.0rpg, Assists-3 (4.7apg), Steals-4 (2.3spg), FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 76.9%. What do you remember being your wake up call to being overseas for the first time where you knew that you were very far away from home?

There were a bunch of times where I would just sit back and think about how far I am, but maybe when I arrived and only 2 or 3 people could speak the bare minimum English. Communication was difficult.

What was it like playing in Iran? What was your nicest experience on the court and off the court did you visit any palaces?

It was pretty cool playing in Iran. I had a great time playing basketball there. Nicest experience was the playoffs and finally getting to see the full atmosphere of overseas playoffs with the loud instruments. Off the court, my favorite experience was going to Kish island.

What was it like being teammates with Robert Gilchrist? How vital was it having a veteran around in your first season overseas?

It was so important and I thank him so much for teaching and showing me the ropes for my first year. He helped me out in many situations when I had questions and how I should go about it.

You played your rookie season in the States with the Houston Push (TBL) averaging 12.5ppg, 2.6rpg, 5.2apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 86.1%. How much did Covid play a role in you not getting overseas quicker? How tough was your rookie season having to toil in a semi-pro league?

It played a semi role because I also blame myself for not putting In the effort and really pushing the overseas job so fast.

How important was the TBL season for you in terms of staying on edge. You probably met guys every night with chips on their shoulders. What did you learn from your rookie season?

It kept my mind healthy and also gave me a boost to push myself each and every day to get better because there are over thousands of people trying to get jobs and I just had to find what I could do to separate myself.

You played at Temple (NCAA) from 2016-2020. Was reaching the Big Dance your fondest moment in 2019 and what memories do you have of it?

Yes definitely one of my fondest moments. Also, freshman year playing against Florida State and West Virginia at the Barclays was amazing as well.

You had a tough 1 point loss to UConn as a freshman where you played well with 11 points, but got them back as a senior winning 93-89 and scoring 14 points. Did you enjoy those battles against those good UConn teams?

Of course, UConn has had a lot of good players since I’ve been through Temple and those games would always be battles.

How did coaches Fran Dunphy and Aaron McKie groom and prepare you best for a professional career?

They both helped me in different ways. Them being wto different coaches, Fran Dunphy taught me how to develop into a pure point guard and running a team. Coach Mckie helped me focus on defense.

Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Monty Scott?

It could go either way.

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that went to the NBA?

Jalen Brunson

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Anthony Cowan, Markelle Fultz, Joe Hampton, Aj Wilson Quinton Ro

Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore?

Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant , Shaq, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry

What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?

I do not like comparing them because of the era difference and positions

Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?

Yes and I think it was pretty good. They could’ve left it alone but not opposed to trying to bring a new version.

Thanks Alani for the chat.


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