Dallas Moore is ready to prove his NBA worth
Dallas Moore could make history. The 6-foot-1 guard has a chance to become the first player from North Florida selected in the NBA draft. The former Boca Ciega standout also could be the first bay area player drafted since John Henson (Sickles/North Carolina) was taken in the first round in 2012.
Moore, however, will not be glued to the television. In fact, Moore said he will most likely be working out at Eckerd College during the draft.
The guard, who has already graduated, is not projected to go in the NBA’s two-round draft. He will most likely will have to sign as a free agent and play well in the summer league and training camp to make a roster.
“I won't be nervous,” Moore said. “I’m not too concerned about getting drafted. If it happens it happens that's just a blessing from God. Summer league is the goal so as long as that happens I'm excited because it's another opportunity for me to showcase my talents.”
Throughout his basketball career, Moore had to prove his worth. He was an unheralded college prospect who was overlooked and ultimately discarded by most big-time Division I college programs.
The snub by larger schools was not the biggest motivating factor for Moore. He was grateful for the opportunity at a lesser-known program and the chance to push his story forward.
At Boca Ciega, Moore was a dynamic scorer, finishing his career with 1,958 points. He was named the Tampa Bay Times' Pinellas County Player of the Year as a senior in 2013.
But he also was diminutive. As a high school freshman, Moore was 5 feet 6. He grew 5 inches the next three years, but was still viewed as an undersized guard by most major D-I colleges.
So Moore went to North Florida, where he was given a leading role.
In 2015, Moore led the Ospreys to their first and only NCAA tournament appearance.
Last year, Moore declared for the NBA draft but did not hire an agent in order to keep his amateur status. He withdrew his name before the deadline and returned for his senior season.
Moore finished his career as the school’s and the state’s all-time leading scorer with 2,437 points.
Still, he had to convince scouts that he was a viable draft candidate. In April, Moore played well at the Portsmouth Invitational, a showcase for the top 64 college seniors. He was the tournament’s fifth-leading scorer, averaging 18 points per game.
But he was not invited to the NBA scouting combine.
Moore said he had workouts with Brooklyn, Denver, Milwaukee and Oklahoma City.
“I don't think I have to prove naysayers wrong,” Moore said. “I was young when I got to school (North Florida), and I thought I had to prove people wrong. But after being there and working with coach Matt Driscoll and the amazing coaching staff it helped me change my perspective.
“Coach told me to always be confident not cocky so that's something I've carried with me throughout the process and throughout my career. If you can play people are going to find you and people did that's why I'm in the position I'm in now.”
As the draft unfolds, Moore will be in the gym, working on his game as he tries to improve his chance of making an NBA roster.
“That’s just me,” Moore said of working out. “I have no idea what will happen in the draft. We’ll see what happens in the summer league and hopefully I can land somewhere. As long as I have the opportunity that’s all I can ask for.”