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FairfaxFlint Hill grad a top scorer in Division II hoops

Flint Hill grad a top scorer in Division II hoops

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It’s hard to fathom now that the seventh leading scorer in NCAA Division II men’s basketball this season was, for a long while, overlooked by top-level college programs during his high-school career.

Flint Hill School graduate Isaiah Moore stood 5-foot-6 or so during his senior season and drew some interest from junior college and Division III basketball college teams. Moore and his high-school coaches, though, firmly believed the guard had a considerably higher skill set. But his height was a drawback to those programs, as Moore was seen but brushed off most by those bigger schools.

Eventually, the coaches at Division II Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, N.H., watched some film of Moore, invited him to a tryout, liked what they saw and eventually signed him to a scholarship. It was a move that paid off.

In four seasons, Moore has been a significant producer, totalling 840 career points through 10 games this season. Plus, he’s grown taller, now standing nearly six feet. Maybe the Franklin Pierce coaches anticipated that would happen. Moore’s father, Earl, stood 6-foot-2 during his playing days at Division I George Mason University.

“The height held him back as far as any of those top programs back then. Isaiah had all the skills then and he has even more now,” Flint Hill head boys basketball coach Rico Reed said.

Moore even dunks in games now.

Through 10 games this season, the junior guard was averaging 24 points per game and led the squad in assists with 51. He’s scored highs of 35, 31, 31 and 27 points in contests, and has made a team-best 19 three-pointers.

Moore also has 54 rebounds, eight steals and eight blocked shots. He played all 40 minutes in three of the team’s games.

Moore’s 24 points per game total ranks seventh in the nation in Division II, with the leader netting 27.4 per outing.

“He can make all the shots now and also do so much more,” Reed said. “Isaiah has worked on his game so hard. This is so fun and special for him and all of us to keep following him.”

Moore said he stayed persistent about wanting to play college ball, even when things weren’t progressing. The agreement to play at Franklin Pierce wasn’t finalized until August prior to his freshman year.

“I didn’t give up on my dream of playing college basketball,” Moore said. “Some asked if I’d be OK just going to college and not playing, but I didn’t want to do that. I have the size now, so it has worked out.”

Back on Dec. 12, Moore was selected as the Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Week. He was chosen for his 27-point, eight-rebound, seven-assist and two-blocked-shot performance in the team’s 87-86 win over Bentley University. One of his blocks came in the closing seconds, saving a potential game-winning three-pointer.

Moore has helped Franklin Pierce enjoy a 7-3 start, including five straight victories entering its next game. His role as a scorer has increased this season as the roster has changed, with previous top scorers no longer on the team.

“I’ve played here and have the experiences, so I am comfortable with everything and scoring more now,” Moore said.

For Flint Hill, Moore was one of the Huskies’ top scorers, making all-conference and all-state teams. He closed his high-school career by making five three-pointers and scoring a team-high 21 points in a state-tournament quarterfinal loss to St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes.

NOTE: Moore is one of many former Flint Hill players now on men’s college teams. Dowar Jioklow (Walters State Community College), Jordan Hairston (University of North Carolina-Asheville), Qudus Wahab (University of Maryland), Noel Brown (George Washington University) and Randy Ayers and Ethan Jones (Stevenson University).

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