This article was written by Jeffrey Dahdah and originally appeared in The Utah Statesmen on November 16, 2015. It has been republished with the author’s permission. To view the original website, click the link here: utahstatesmen.com
When Jalen and Grayson Moore both stepped onto the court in Utah State University’s first preseason game against Oklahoma Panhandle State, their father, Jimmy, was watching in the stands.
“It was very emotional for me,” Jimmy said.
If there was a family that bleeds blue, it would be the Moores. Jimmy played at USU from 1972-75, coached the Aggies for a while and is now an assistant athletic director for the university. Jalen and Grayson grew up in the valley, eventually attending Sky View High School. They grew up — predictably — big Aggie fans.
“From the time they were small they always came up to basketball camps here. They always wanted to be Aggies,” Jimmy said.
As a result the brothers grew up in the stands of the Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum watching generations of Aggies take the court. Now they are taking that court together.
“It was our goal to always be able to play here,” Jalen said. “Our dad played here so we kind of wanted to follow in his footsteps.”
For Jalen it was a simpler path to the Spectrum than Grayson. Jalen went from Sky View to USU and even played his freshmen year. Grayson however, left Sky View and played a year of junior college at Sheridan College in Wyoming. He then played two years at Northwest Nazarene before transferring to USU last year.
“I’m really happy for Grayson,” Jimmy said. “He ended up here where he always wanted to be.”
Grayson redshirted last season for the Aggies while he graduated with a bachelor’s degree. This year he is using his final year of eligibility while working on his master’s degree.
Jalen and Grayson never really played together in high school or junior high because of their two-year age gap. The odds of them playing together after high school was always slim, but they always thought of it as a possibility.
“They always talked about maybe having the opportunity to play college ball together but the reality of that happening is very small,” Jimmy said.
Now they are, and the Moores don’t take for granted the uniqueness of their situation.
“It’s way cool being able to be like ‘I played with my brother in college,’” Jalen said. “A lot of people don’t get to say that.”
They may be on the same team now, but growing up, they were in competition with each other. The Moores said their competition on the court would get intense.
“You know how brothers are — you start playing, someone is winning, the other brother is getting mad,” Jalen said. “There would be times when we would go up for a layup and push each other.”
They said those pushes were accidental at times, but common. Both brothers also say those games pushed each other to be better. Plus a little healthy competition never hurt anyone.
“When we played against each other in early high school we couldn’t ever finish a game because it would end up in a fight,” Grayson said. “It’s funny though, towards the end — probably by my senior year in high school — we became best friends, just hanging out all of the time.”
Their friendship and competition lead to a connection on the court. Grayson knows how Jalen plays and Jalen knows Grayson.
“We have a really good understanding of what type of player each of us are and kind of what we’re going to do next,” Grayson said. “If I’m driving I know how to set Jalen up for a shot and if he’s driving I know where to be so he can find me.”
The brothers get one year together on the court, but even that one year means so much to the Moore family.
“It’s just awesome being able to play together,” Jalen said. “It’s different having a brother compared to someone else who is on your team.”
For Jimmy, it’s almost too exciting to put into words.
“It’s hard to describe, you have to actually experience it,” he said. “It’s unbelievable. It’s a dream come true.”
This season two Moores will take the court, play defense, pass and shoot the ball. And this season one Moore will be watching from somewhere inside the Spectrum every time, waiting to critique his two boys.
It’s safe to say this will be a special season for the Moore family.