Boys Basketball: Pasadena’s Omari Moore Commits to San Jose State; Versatile Big Man Helped Bulldogs Make Second Consecutive CIF Finals Appearance

Published : Monday, August 20, 2018 | 5:49 AM

There was no better or more impactful sixth man last season than Pasadena’s Omari Moore.

Moore, who came back to PHS for his senior year, joined a team with three established stars (Bryce Hamilton, Darius Brown II and Darius Mason) and another who had just arrived in Florida’s own, Tavian Percy.

And had he been on any other team, Omari Moore could be ‘the guy’ or a 20-point, 10 rebound guy.

But being the selfless guy he is, Moore came off the bench and averaged 7 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and one block per game for the 15-time Pacific League champions.

The 6-foot-6 standout became the fourth PHS senior to commit to a Division 1 school when he agreed to attend San Jose State.

Moore will spend the next year or so attending a Prep School in Los Angeles before joining San Jose State for the 2019-20 season.

With Hamilton at UNLV, Percy at New Mexico and DBII at Cal State Northridge, PHS had its best D1 signing period since 1977, which was the last time it saw four athletes from the same year commit to Division 1 schools.

Moore’s teammates raved about what a great teammate and person he is, and this reporter can say without equivocation that Omari Moore is one of the brightest athletes I’ve ever interviewed in a 19-year career.

Moore finished with a 3.7 GPA and credits much of that success as well as becoming such an impressive young man to his parents Dana and Brenton.

Brenton Moore and his son visited San Jose State recently and they had already put together a video as to how well they felt Moore would fit into their program.

While he is very lean, his teammates and coaches point out that Moore is deceivingly strong and can hold his own with anyone.

That said, the year off to improve his game and body could turn out to be a blessing for all involved.

“Omari still has some growing to do and he’s only going to get stronger, so we’re very excited to see where his game can go,” PHS coach Tony Brooks said. “I couldn’t be more appreciative of him as a teammate, contributor or kid, and his parents deserve a lot of credit for how he turned out.”

Moore’s biggest game, without doubt, was his 14-point, 11-rebound effort (both team highs) in the two-point semifinal victory over Rancho Verde.

He said coming back to PHS from St. Francis was a great move and it allowed him to be around and play with his best friends, who also happen to be his teammates.

Moore takes a lot of pride in both his work ethic on the court and in the classroom, but he also cares just as deeply about being a respectful and intelligent young man.

“I definitely care a lot of about my grades, because basketball only lasts so long,” Moore said. “I owe everything I am to my parents and I couldn’t be more thankful for all their guidance and love. I want my teammates and coaches to know how much I appreciate all they do and I hope these relationships last for a lifetime.”

All involved expect Moore to run the point in a couple years and it’s pretty safe to say that Pasadena area basketball fans will be rooting him on the entire way.

Quotable:

PHS head coach Tony Brooks: “Omari is an exceptional kid and he has a selflessness about him. All of the good qualities he possesses really makes you want to root for him. We were able to put him in a position to help our team in so many ways because of his versatility. He is experienced and poised. He never lets the game get bigger than it should be.”

UNLV player Bryce Hamilton: “Omari was a great teammate. He always worked hard and was a great leader, who led by example. He helped us a lot this year with his athleticism, and his ability to make plays, which gave us a good spark coming off the bench. On any other team, he would be a starter, but that just shows how great of a person and teammate he was.”

New Mexico player Tavian Percy: “Omari is just like the perfect kid. I love him and he’ll always be a good friend to me, because he’s not only a great person, if he wasn’t playing, he was cheering us on. He’s the kind of person you want around you off the court, because he does all the good things and works really hard. I hope he shines at San Jose State and gets to an even higher level.”

Cal State Northridge player Darius Brown II: “Omari is one of my closest friends off the court and always will be. He is a great person and an even better teammate. He played whatever role we needed. If we needed him at guard, he did it. If he was asked to play big, he did. He’s just that kind of player. He can shoot, play defense and is crazy athletic. He will do big things at the next level.”

PHS senior Darius Mason: “Omari was a huge contributor to the team on and off the court. He was also a great leader. It wasn’t so much with his words, it was with his actions. He always went hard and was a great addition to our team. Every time he got into the game, the whole team stepped it up to another level, because he was huge for us.”