Source: CVDaily Feed
Grayson Moore’s lifelong dream of starting with his brother on the Utah State men’s basketball team came true, for the redshirt senior forward this season.
Grayson and his younger brother, Jalen, grew up in Cache Valley dreaming of one day playing together for the Aggies.
“Jalen and I talked about that a lot. We both wanted to walk on to the court with Moore on our jerseys and have a chance to play together,” Grayson said. “I didn’t know if I would ever start, but I was determined to work my hardest and earn my playing time. My goal was to become a starter and I played a lot of minutes, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to get there. I just kept working day after day and I eventually got it. It was cut short, but it was good to get there.”
Early on during the 2015-16 campaign, Grayson got a lot of playing time off the bench but had yet to start. He played 12 minutes in Utah State’s first home game against Adams State, scoring three points and pulling down four rebounds. In the Mountain West opener against San José State, he played 18 minutes, scoring 12 points, including shooting 6-of-6 from the free throw line. He saw his most action at home vs. Boise State the next weekend, where he played 22 minutes, scoring eight points and grabbing seven rebounds.
On Jan. 9, Grayson and his brother’s dream came true as they started together at New Mexico. The older sibling played 30 minutes in his first start and had six points and three assists. He also pulled down nine rebounds against the Lobos. With the help of his brother on the court, Jalen led the Aggies in scoring with 17 points that night.
In their next start together, Grayson was solid again on defense as he had nine rebounds and two blocks against Air Force. He again inspired his brother, Jalen, who led the team in scoring with 20 points.
However, Grayson’s season was cut short as he played just nine minutes against Colorado State before leaving the game with a foot injury.
“He and Jalen really enjoy playing together,” said first-year head coach Tim Duryea. “It always picks Jalen up when Grayson is out there on the floor with him. You could see the synergy, where they knew where each other was, and knew to look for each other. You could tell they have played a lot of basketball together. You could feel it. As a coach I could feel the fact that those two had a little special connection.”
What did it mean for Grayson to be able to play with Jalen?
“It was really cool, especially the first time we were announced as starters together,” Grayson said, “It’s awesome. It is an indescribable feeling, from being our goal as kids to walk out on the Spectrum floor together and then having it happen.”
The goal of playing together at Utah State started when they were little kids.
“We had Little Tikes, the little blow up bouncy balls, so we were playing with those by the time we could walk. Jalen and I were always competing against other,” Grayson said. “We played a lot. We were always out on the driveway playing against each other.”
Having grown up in Cache Valley, and with their dad being Utah State Hall of Famer Jimmy Moore, the brothers grew up devout Aggie fans.
“Jalen and I have been coming to the games ever since we can remember,” Grayson said. “Ever since we were able to walk, we’ve been watching the Aggies.”
The journey to Utah State to be reunited with Jalen on the court was not an easy one for Grayson.
“Since high school, nothing was ever given to me,” he said.
Following his prep career at Sky View High School in Smithfield, Utah, Grayson went to Sheridan College in Wyoming to play his freshman year, where he appeared in 15 games and averaged roughly 3.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game.
“I walked on at the junior college, but they didn’t guarantee me any playing time,” said Grayson.
Following his freshman year, Grayson transferred to Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho. Grayson flourished with the Crusaders, earning honorable mention all-conference honors after averaging 10.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals in 30.8 minutes per game as a junior.
“I didn’t walk on to the Division II school (Northwest Nazarene), but they didn’t recruit me either,” Grayson said, “I went and tried out there and they wanted me. I was planning on finishing my career at Northwest Nazarene, and then I had the opportunity to come here and play. That was our dream, so I had to go with the opportunity.”
“I talked to Jalen and was like, ‘I have to do it.’ There was no guarantee coming here that I was going to play. I came here to play my hardest and hopefully have a chance to play on the floor together.”
Grayson and Jalen both appeared in 17 games and started together in three before Grayson suffered the injury to his foot.
“There is a small chance, a really small chance that I could come back for the end of the season,” Grayson said. “That is what my goal is, I don’t want to end my career on a scooter.”
After this season, Grayson hopes to go and play basketball overseas. If that does not work out, he will remain at Utah State and finish up his MBA. Wherever Grayson ends up he has proven that he will work and earn his way to the top, whether that will be in basketball or business.
Only time will tell if the Moore brothers will be playing basketball together in the future, at the professional level.