DeMatha junior guard Justin Moore was all over the floor in the Stags win over Bishop O’Connell on Friday. Moore was attacking the rim, stepping back for outside shots, moving the ball and playing solid defense as he was determined to get DeMatha its seventh victory of the season.
Moore has helped DeMatha become one of the best teams in the area and the nation with his high-level of scoring and all-around contribution. If it wasn’t for the brace covering his entire left leg, you wouldn’t think Moore was recovering from a torn ACL.
“I worked hard to get back playing,” Moore said after scoring 15 points against O’Connell. “I’m glad where I’m at now.”
Moore saw his sophomore season cut short nearly a year ago when he tore his ACL against Bishop McNamara. The injury forced Moore to sit on the sidelines, while his teammates faced a rigid conference schedule.
“I was very upset,” Moore expressed. “To see my teammates out there and not help them out.”
From that moment on, Moore spent hours in the gym trying to get himself back to full strength. Moore didn’t shy away from the fact that the recovering process was a struggle, but he feels like he has gotten stronger mentality and physically.
“Everyday was a struggle,” Moore said. “Just lifting, getting the quad stronger and the hamstring stronger. Now it’s probably stronger than my right one.”
Moore’s teammates has noticed the impact he has made and how he has helped DeMatha to its hot start.
“[Moore] has been a key piece for us,” DeMatha sophomore Hunter Dickinson said. “He’s our leading scorer, he is a good defender and sets us up.”
Dickinson was confident that his teammate would return stronger than before after seeing all the work Moore put into the gym.
“I think some people were skeptical on how we were going to be because of Justin’s injury,” Dickinson said. “I knew he was going to come back strong. I have seen him really work hard during rehab.”
The biggest thing for Moore is continuing to learn how to play with a brace.
“It kind of restricts me a little bit, but I’m getting use to it,” Moore said.
Moore knows the benefits of keeping the brace on, but he is eagerly waiting to take it off so he can play at full speed once again.
“I’m ready to get it off,” Moore said. “I’m not as fast and quick as I use to be, but I’m fine.”
Moore has a handful of offers from Maryland, Xavier, Notre Dame, Louisville, Villanova and others. Virginia hasn’t extended an offer, but they have shown interest in the four-star guard.
“Virginia hasn’t offered me, but they are talking to me a lot,” Moore said. “Wake Forest, Maryland, Notre Dame and Xavier have been talking to me lately.”