Jayden Moore, a point guard from Hopkins (MN) High, is ranked as the top eighth grader in the state. Moore has scored in double figures in four of nine games this season and is averaging 8.9 points per game as the Royals are off to an 8-1 start. Moore scored a season-high 15 points versus Orono.
GopherHole recently caught up with Moore to learn more about his early recruitment and upcoming season.
GopherHole: You played very well. How pleased are you with how well you have playing so far this year?
Jayden Moore: I’ve been trying to do my best. Trying to do my role, being the youngest on the team, so I try to get my teammates involved and like scoring comes second.
GopherHole: How is it being an eighth grader playing at the varsity level? How tough of an adjustment has that been?
Jayden Moore: Last year, I got moved up. I played like the last three games varsity as a seventh grader and I was nervous, but then going into this year, it’s been “cool, calm.” Just chilling. Playing my role and feeling a little bit better.
GopherHole: As a point guard, people are going to like you when you pass them the ball and will help the chemistry as opposed to a player who is maybe selfish. Is that something that you have tried to be that playmaker and then eventually get your own game going?
Jayden Moore: I’ve been a playmaker my whole life. Passing the ball, that’s been my number one thing. I’ve been working on trying to get to the cup, but passing has been my number one thing. I’m a pass-first guy, so passing has been easy this year and going on beyond, is just going to become easier and easier.
GopherHole: I think that you had a few passes that would have been nice passes, but maybe you caught the other player off-guard a little bit. Is that sometimes tough because you are always looking to pass and sometimes players might not think you are going to go their way?
Jayden Moore: Sometimes, I can overdo it. Sometimes, I got a shot and I just pass it up. That is something that I need to work on.
GopherHole: Are you starting to get letters from colleges yet?
Jayden Moore: I got a few looks for some colleges. Minnesota is the biggest one right now, but all of that will come. I’m not focused on that right now. Right now. I’m focused on getting better with my team and going on with the season.
GopherHole: Have you had a chance to go to many college games in the past?
Jayden Moore: Not a lot, but it will come.
GopherHole: Do you watch a lot of college or pro basketball?
Jayden Moore: I watch a lot. Every day. I watch pro the most. Colleges, I don’t watch as much, but I watch the pros a lot.
GopherHole: Is there a player you really like to watch?
Jayden Moore: I like Ja Morant. Right now, he is my favorite. Kyrie had been my favorite and in college, my favorite is Duke right now, but I like the point guard from Kentucky, TyTy Washington. I like to copy my game off him, passing-wise.
GopherHole: Have you seen Minnesota play much this year?
Jayden Moore: I haven’t seen them play a lot, but I’ll get to see them play, but I haven’t seen them play a lot thus far.
GopherHole: Minnesota with Ben Johnson, has made it a priority to keep the top in-state kids here. Have they mentioned that to you in the letters?
Jayden Moore: The assistant coach, Thorson, I’m really close to him. Me and my family are really close with him, so we talk a lot with him. Coming out, that is going to be a big deal. Staying home might be big opportunity.
GopherHole: How did you guys get to know him?
Jayden Moore: From DeLaSalle. When I was younger, I used to go to their basketball camps, so I got to know him from there.
GopherHole: He’s a great coach, but a little fiery?
Jayden Moore: I like that. He is a little fiery. I’m used to it, but I know what you are talking about.
GopherHole: What do you like to do away from the basketball court?
Jayden Moore: Off the basketball court, I like socializing. I get my sleep and stuff. Get my rest and stuff and have fun with friends, but mainly with the season, I’m locked in. I’ve been eating healthy, going to sleep early and grinding. Trying to get better.
GopherHole: Are you a basketball guy only nowadays? Did you play other sports?
Jayden Moore: I did play football, but I’m leaning towards basketball now, but I might later on in years to come, I might go back to football for a couple of seasons.
GopherHole: Do you come from an athletic family?
Jayden Moore: I’m basically a basketball family. My dad played in college at Tennessee State. My mom played in high school.
GopherHole: Is that where you got the love of the game?
Jayden Moore: I got it from my whole family.
GopherHole: What is it going to mean to have the opportunity to play at the Division I level?
Jayden Moore: I’m just grinding. Just get there. The goal is to make the NBA, so everything, work from there. That is the main goal.