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Old 04-19-2020, 04:46 AM   #1
bluesooner17
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Default Moore’s Aaliyah Moore enjoys the recognition

SUPER 5 GIRLS BASKETBALL

By James D. Jackson

Aaliyah Moore, Moore Height: 6-foot-3 Position: Forward Class: Junior The story: Oklahoma’s Gatorade Player of the Year and one of the top recruits in the nation in the 2021 class. A dominant athletic post who consistently puts the ball in the hoop, Moore averaged 21.7 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists. She helped lead Moore High School to the Class 6A state tournament, its first appearance in 22 years.

Moore High School junior Aaliyah Moore was dominant this season. Her 6-foot-3 frame made her a force in the middle, but her athleticism elevated her game. [BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN]

MOORE — Aaliyah Moore is no stranger to earning recognition for her basketball skills.

During her 8th grade year, she earned her first college basketball offer. In the three years since, she has only earned more, becoming one of biggest prospects in the state and propelling her name into the national spotlight.

ESPN ranks the junior from Moore High School as the No. 7 overall recruit nationally in the 2021 class —and she is more than worthy of the honor.

She has collected numerous awards during the past year, most notably winning a gold medal with Team USA in the 2019 FIBA Americas Under-16 Championship and being tabbed Oklahoma’s Gatorade Player of the Year.

Now, she will add another honor to her list: The Oklahoman’s Super 5 Player of the Year.

“It’s been unbelievable to see everything play itself out with all the hard work I’ve put in,” Moore said.

The attention she has brought on herself doesn’t frighten her or make her uncomfortable. Whenever she’s in front of the camera, she feels right at home.

“I’m not going to lie, I love it,” she said. “I love to talk in front of cameras, getting interviewed after the games, getting the player-of-the year awards. It’s fun to see all the hard work pay off.”

This season, Moore averaged 21.7 points and 11.1 rebounds a game to lead Moore High to the Class 6A state tournament, the program’s first state appearance in 22 years.

“There are things that set her apart from everybody else,” Moore girls basketball coach Brent Hodges said. “First off, she’s 6-3 and she can jump out of the gym. Her athleticism, her speed and jumping ability is just fantastic. Her skill level is so good.”

Moore and her teammates put together a 21-5 season, the best the program has under Hodges. The fifth-year head coach knows a lot of the success has to do with his junior forward.

“She’s a lot of what we do,” Hodges said. “It’s a team sport and I get that, but her level of play and what she brings to the floor every night is really special.”

For Aaliyah Moore, that kind of praise is appreciated. She doesn’t take any of it for granted. Not the kind words. Not the big awards.

“It just feels amazing,” she said. “My family, they’re so supportive. My friends, the Moore community, just reaching out to me saying, ‘Congrats, Aaliyah.’

“It just makes me feel good. It’s amazing. I love it, and I thank God for the opportunity and the talent he blessed me with.”
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