Photo: Taze Moore, who played high school basketball at Southaven, is in his second season with the NBA G League’s Texas Legends. (Bob Bakken/desotocountynews.com)
Visiting NBA G League teams will typically get a few fans to come follow them when they play the Memphis Hustle at the Landers Center. They are usually friends and family members of players traveling to see them play and follow their pro basketball dream. You’ll usually find them seated behind the visiting bench cheering them on.
That number was probably bumped a bit more than usual recently, when the Texas Legends came to play the Hustle. That’s because one of the Legends had a special connection to the arena they were in.
Taze Moore, who starred in high school at Southaven, was again returning home to play on the Landers Center floor for the Dallas Mavericks affiliate.
Moore is in his second season with the Legends, having joined after a college career that saw him play at Cal State-Bakersfield and his last year of eligibility for coach Kelvin Sampson at Houston.
Through 14 games of the Legends’ season this year, Moore has started three games and has averaged 9.4 points per game, 5.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists a contest. In the recent visit to Southaven on Dec. 7, Moore came off the bench to score 19 points in the Legends’ 101-97 victory.
NBA G League teams visit several places during the course of a season, but coming back to Southaven to play the Hustle is always a bit special for Taze. He said there’s always a good following to come see him play.
“I always have a group,” Moore said. “I’m from this area and have a lot of people I grew up with and my loved ones here. They always come out and support me whenever they can.”
Moore never played on the Landers Center floor in high school, but the arena still holds a special place for him.
“It’s always fun, coming back to an arena I’ve been around,” said Moore. “It makes me feel like a kid again.”
In college, Moore played four years for Cal State-Bakersfield, but in his one year at Houston was part of a Cougars team that fashioned a 32-6 record, won the American Athletic Conference championship, and reached the NCAA Elite Eight before losing to Villanova.
With the Cougars, Moore returned to the area to play Memphis at FedExForum but last season, his first with the Legends, was his first time in return back to Southaven.
Moore likens the G League to what he called “big-man JUCO” basketball.
“It’s a little bit tougher,” Moore said. “You’re not going to get the lavish lifestyle but it teaches you to love the game and it teaches you to love hard work.”
Moore keeps working now, hoping for that one chance to be on the floor as a member of the Dallas Mavericks. It’s what playing in the G League is about, developing to get the chance to play in the NBA.
“I take it day-to-day because when I get that call, I’ll get that call,” Moore said.
Fans will get the chance to see Taze Moore and the Texas Legends again at the Landers Center when they return for regular season games Feb. 9 and 11 against the Hustle.