Karl Moore hatte es nicht immer leicht. Der Weg über den großen Teich war für den 27-Jährigen Basketballprofi aus den USA keineswegs vorgezeichnet. Fast schien es, als müsste er sich von seinem ganz großen Traum verabschieden. Doch dann kam die “Basketball Aid International Opportunity Tour 2014″. Moore tourte im September 2014 mit einem Team von US-Spielern durch Deutschland und dabei auch durch Sachsen-Anhalt. Viermalzehn war dabei und sah, wie das Team von Headcoach Hans Beth mit seinen Leistungen auf dem Parkett und wohltätigen Aktionen abseits davon überzeugte. Und für Karl Moore ging am Ende sein Traum in Erfüllung: Der Flügelspieler unterschrieb einen Vertrag bei den Saarlouis Royals.
Mit seinen im Schnitt 16,3 Punkten pro Partie avancierte Moore umgehend zu einem der besten Pro B-Punktesammler. Nun möchte der 2,03 Meter große Athlet seine Mannschaft zum Klassenerhalt führen. Kurz vor dem Ende seiner ersten Saison in Deutschland hat sich Daniel George mit dem US-Profi unterhalten. Und weil wir kein Opfer von “Lost in Translation” werden wollten, feiert Viermalzehn eine Premiere: das erste Interview auf Englisch.
Looking back: How important was it to join the “Basketball Aid International Opportunity Tour 2014″?
Moore: Joining “Basketball Aid International Opportunity Tour 2014″ was very important for me because at the time not to many agents was willing to take a chance with me. I finished my senior year of college averaging 16 points and 6 rebounds a game while shooting 68 percent from the field from off the bench. I thought those were some pretty good stats but the majority of the agents that I spent over six hours emailing thought differently because I played at a smaller division one college. When it seemed as if no one was willing to give me an opportunity to keep playing basketball after I graduated from college, I never gave up because I knew how talented that I was because of the many hours that I spent in the gym by myself getting better. On the night that I stayed up on my computer for six hours sending out my basketball profile to different people, Hans Beth was one of the few people to find interested regardless of how big or small of a college that I played for. After learning all about his tour, I became excited to be a part of it because this was an important opportunity for me to come over to Europe to play against other professional players as I showed coaches, managers, and agents that I can compete on any level.
How do your memories about the tour look like?
Moore: I have a lot of exciting memories. Some of my most exciting memories was going to different schools teaching the kids about the game of basketball. I always enjoy teaching people about the things that I was once taught. At the time during the tour I was just a man trying to get his foot into the door. Those kids didn’t seem to care about me not earning a basketball contract yet, they treated me and look at me as if I was already a professional player. They loved my height and how high I could dunk the ball. Seeing how much they believed in me motivated me while on tour to give it all that I had when playing against the teams that we were scheduled to play.
Do you remember the day you got the contract at Saarlouis?
Moore: At first when I came to Saarlouis I was under a three week try out. I faced a lot of adversity but I stayed working hard and kept a professional mindset. After the three weeks ended, I was told by the general manager after practice that he wanted me to stay. The whole team congratulated me and I was extremely excited. At the time, I haven’t felt this excited since I walked across the stage to receive my bachelor degree in psychology.
What was your best experience during the season so far?
Moore: My best experience during the season so far was playing in a game when I scored 20 points and 7 rebounds in 15 minutes of game playing from off the bench against Iserlohn who was the top team in our conference. This was probably one of my best performances. Being that I was always looked upon as the under dog in life, I always take going up against top teams personal which always end up being a great experience.
And what was your worst experience?
Moore: Driving a car with a manual gear shift for the first time. It was difficult for me to learn at first because in america the majority of our cars have a automatic gear shift. But after time, I worked it out.
Was it difficult to play overseas for the first time and beeing seperated from your family?
Moore: I do not think so. I been playing ball my whole life. The only difference was that I am playing in a different country. Yes, I miss my family back at home especially my three year old daughter. But everyone understand that success comes with sacrifice. As long as I continue to work hard on and off the court, I believe that the sacrifices that I made to provide a better future for myself and my family will eventually pay off.
How happy are you with your personal performance on the court so far?
Moore: I am happy. As of now I am averaging 16 points and 7 rebounds a game during the 23 minute a game average. Shooting 59 percent from the field with a 18 efficiency average shows me how smart of a player that I am while playing.
What does your team need to do to stay in the league?
Moore: Our team need to win games to stay in the league. Everyone must execute the offense and work even harder on defense. Players must communicate to each other on the court and the players on the bench have to be prepared to bring energy to the court when their name is called. Rather we win or lose, everyone must remain positive.
If you had one wish for your personal future, what would it be?
Moore: If I had one wish for my personal future, it would be for God to place me in a position through playing basketball to where I can earn enough money to be the first to donate one million dollars to my church.