Darryl Moore Q&APosted: April 13, 2011
Once Darryl Moore set foot on the Iowa campus, he became a Hawkeye for life.
Iowa basketball fans will remember Moore for being a high-flying guard with a bright smile on the 1996-97 team that placed second in the Big Ten. But when Moore did arrive in Iowa City as a freshman, he never planned on playing basketball, other than recreationally. He had a successful career at DuSable High School in Chicago, but at 6’2”, 182-pounds he thought that was the end of organized hoops.
As the story goes, assistant coach Rick Moss discovered Moore playing at the Field House gym torching opponents. Eventually word got to head coach Tom Davis, who invited Moore for a tryout. The rest is history, as they say.
Moore redshirted and practiced on the Gray Team his first season, then appeared in three games over his next two years. His breakout came as a junior when he played in all 32 games, starting 13, and scoring 5.1 points per game. As a senior, Moore upped his scoring average to 7.1 ppg while appearing in 31 games. He also was given the Chris Street Award his senior year as a player who best exemplifies the spirit, enthusiasm, and intensity of the late Chris Street.
An African-American and World Studies major, Moore enjoyed every second of his time as a student-athlete. He played overseas after college, but came back to the area he fell in love with in college.
The Chicago native has been living in North Liberty for just over six years. His four children (ages 18, 12, 11 and 7) keep him on the go, but he still finds time to get back on the hardwood. Moore has been a fixture of the Prime Time League at the North Liberty Rec Center every summer, teaching and mentoring current Hawkeyes. But that’s not all he does—he can still fly. Once in a while, he’ll get a steal for a fast break and soar for a dunk like he’s 20 years old again. And flash that same ear-to-ear grin. He loves talking and laughing with fans anytime he can.
HawkeyeLocator caught up with Moore to discuss his life, basketball, good memories and the current state of Iowa program.
HL: So tell Hawkeye fans what are you up to nowadays.
DM: I’ve been in the medical sales field for the last 10 years or so. I’ve been in pharmaceutical sales for the last eight years, and for the last two years I’ve been in orthopedic device sales. That’s what I do now. It’s a London company but our U.S. headquarters is in Memphis. So I go around and try to get orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, pain specialists to use our products. I cover eastern Iowa pretty much from Waterloo over to the Quad Cities and everything in between there.
I’m coaching a little basketball with my kids’ competitive travel teams. I do that to keep me busy when I’m not working. That’s all I do, work and kids it seems like.”
HL: So do you still get up and down the court?
DM: No, not as much as I used to. I get so busy with work and the kids. But by the time Prime Time comes I might try to start playing a little bit just to try to get into a little bit of shape so I’m not too bad (laughs).
HL: What’s one of your best basketball memories at Iowa?
DM: You know, I guess it was just making it to the NCAA tournament. It’s like a whole different season, a new start once you make it to the tournament. The atmosphere is different, the adrenaline is high. It’s like a fresh, new start. You go to a different place and play a team that you probably never would have played before. And the media that surrounds it. That’s probably one of the biggest memories of playing Iowa basketball.
And then just the fans. Playing in front of a big crowd every time we went out to play at Carver-Hawkeye and the rest of the Big Ten. We played in front of some big crowds, and just the chance to do that, a lot of people don’t get to do that so I feel pretty fortunate.
Playing at the level too, I get to play with some guys that now you see in the NBA being successful. I talk to my kids and say ‘I played against that guy,’ you know. Things like that. I played at this place. So, just a lot of experiences that I never would have got to do if I didn’t play college basketball.
HL: Any especially good memories as a student at Iowa?
DM: I think the big memory is just being a student in general. It was just so much fun getting away from home, trying to figure yourself out, trying to figure life out, making new friends. And also being an athlete at the same time, trying to budget your time with sports and academics. Iowa is a great community to go to school in. I think people underestimate Iowa until they get here. They don’t really hear about it, but once you get here, you find out it’s a really neat place, really neat people. Everybody’s really nice. It’s not too far home from Chicago. So Iowa’s been pretty good to me. I just think that the overall experience of being a college student, if anybody gets that opportunity, everybody should try it.
HL: What do you think of the current team? Do you still follow Iowa basketball closely?
DM: I think they got all the pieces in place. As far as the coaching staff, I think they got a good crew here that’s going to get some talent here, going to get some wins. The players are going to work hard for them. It’s going to be a different style of basketball that we’re used to seeing here, but I think that’s what we want to see here. It’s going to take a little time just like with any new coaching staff. Last year they had some flashes by beating Purdue, hanging with Ohio State and going into overtime with Wisconsin. You saw the flashes last year, and I think they’re just going to get better and get more talented players. So I think the best I yet to come.