Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
NLR native grows away from home
Moses Moody dribbles around a defender during an AAU game Friday, April 12, 2019, at Bulldog Arena in Fayetteville.
Five-star guard Moses Moody has shown a maturity level that's usually reserved for someone older while working on trying to perfect his craft.
Moody, 6-6, 190 pounds, was the MVP of the Class 7A basketball state title game for North Little Rock in 2018 as a sophomore and had several scholarship offers, including one from the University of Arkansas. He was well on his way to becoming one of the top recruits nationally.
Wanting a bigger challenge athletically and academically, he made the decision to transfer to Montverde Academy outside of Orlando, Fla., which offers 33 advanced placement courses.
The Eagles have won four high school national championships since 2013 and have produced six NBA Draft picks since 2005 while playing a national schedule.
"Number one, I was wanting to compete against top competition around the country and compete with and against top competition in practice," said Moody, who's an honor roll student with a 3.7 grade-point average.
ESPN rates Moody a five-star recruit, the No. 6 shooting guard and No. 22 overall prospect for the 2020 class.
Being away from his parents, Kareem and Rona, and friends has been one of the toughest challenges to overcome. His mother also has struggled with the distance.
"Just knowing our relationship and knowing how attached we are," said Moody, who turns 17 on Friday. "I wasn't even feeling as homesick as much as I was thinking about her thinking I was homesick, and that made it a lot harder."
In addition to Moody leaving home, his older brother Miles also left for Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fla., leaving their parents as empty-nesters and missing family dinners.
"That's golden for us," Rona Moody said. "We would sit at the dinner table and eat and talk for like two hours after we're done."
Despite the challenges, Moses Moody knows he'll be better for it.
"It's definitely going to prepare me for college," he said. "Just being away from home already. So when I go away for school, I'll already be acquainted to it. I think that's a big barrier, a big step for college students, so I feel like I'll be more prepared for that."
His father sees adversity preparing his son for the future.
"I wanted him to have to start over again and experience being on the bench and give him a chance to doubt himself maybe," Kareem Moody said. "Be challenged every day. Constantly have to fight and learn to battle."
Influenced some by his grandmother's focus on healthy cooking, Moses Moody showed unusual discipline at an early age.
"I quit drinking sodas in the fifth grade. I stopped eating candy," he said. "The eighth grade is when I cut out most juices and Kool-Aid and went strictly to water and Gatorade."
Soda is a no-no for the family when eating out.
"Now he doesn't allow us to drink sodas either in his presence," Rona Moody said.
Moody was averaging 19.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.7 assists a game while shooting 48% from the field and 34% from beyond the three-point line for Bradley Beal Elite going into today during the third session of the Nike EYBL circuit in Dallas. Kareem and Rona attended this weekend's games along with the earlier two EYBL sessions in Atlanta and Indianapolis.
Saying goodbye after each session is awkward.
"That's tough to be standing in the middle of the airport and you have to say goodbye and you go one direction and he has to go another direction," Rona said. "You don't know how that feels until you experience it."
His recruitment is still open to others that haven't offered him.
"I don't have a certain date to narrow anything down," Moses Moody said. "I'm open to all of the new offers coming in."
University of Arkansas Coach Eric Musselman reconfirmed Moody's offer less than 24 hours after being introduced as the new coach.
"We're still looking to build a relationship," Moody said. "I really haven't talked to him that much. He seems like a pretty good guy, and I know he has a good past. I've looked into that with him having NBA experience. That's definitely a plus and looking at what he did at Nevada last year and the last couple of years and having them in the tournament and making a good run."
Kareem fondly remembers following the Hogs during the Lee Mayberry, Todd Day and national championship days, but won’t let that interfere with his son’s college decision.
“I try not to let my emotions get in there, I don’t want to sway him based off my own selfish reasons,” Kareem said.
Email Richard Davenport
Sports on 05/26/2019
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