When Germantown Academy standout Julian Moore’s name is typed into Google, the search engine instead shows results for “Julianne Moore”, a British-American actress.
It makes sense. The latter Moore has been nominated for four Academy Awards and a Golden Globe, among other accolades.
But while the Hollywood star is known across the globe, the 6-foot-9 forward with a similar name should soon be widely recognized at the Bryce Jordan Center in less than a year.
Listed as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Moore is a late bloomer from the Philadelphia area and an underrated signing for coach Patrick Chambers.
When putting together a story on Penn State building a recruiting-base in Philly, I talked to Moore about everything from his commitment to Penn State, his style of play and the energy of Chambers.
First question for you Julian, when were you first recruiting by coach Chambers and what had you sold on the coaching staff?
Moore: They started talking to my high school coach toward the end of my junior season and over the summer we started to build more a relationship. Coach Chambers personally came out to see me at the Reebok Breakout Camp [in the summer]… I also went to a camp for recruits up there, they gave me a tour of the school, I played against some of the kids on the team and met all the guys. They’re some of the best kids in the country honestly. They are a really high-energy program, they never give up and the coaches are always pushing you to try and be better.
You mentioned that when you visited you played with and met some of the guys on the team. What did you think of guys like D.J. Newbill and Brandon Taylor, guys like you from in or around Philly?
Moore: I think D.J. is an amazing leader, especially with the position he’s been thrown into. He’s handling the team really well. When I was there, his leadership showed off the court, too. Brandon I think I actually played the summer of my sophomore year and he gave me some work back then, but we’ll see what happens next year [laughs], but he’s a really nice person off the court and a great competitor on it.
When you look ahead to next year, Penn State is going to stacked at the guard position with Tim Frazier coming back, [Jermaine] Marshall, D.J. Newbill and John Johnson, the transfer from Pitt. So where do you see yourself in the frontcourt as a 6-foot-9 true freshman next season?
Moore: I hope to contribute to the team any way I can and get better every day. Hopefully that means playing time and getting out there and mixing it up. I know they’re going to be stacked at guard, but I know I can contribute a lot on the inside and a little bit on the outside.
About your game in general, are you a kind of player that likes to set up in the low post or more like a Dirk Nowitzki shooting mid-range jumpers?
Moore: Honestly I do a lot on the floor and that’s why coach Chambers and the staff liked me because I can fill a lot of roles. I’m big enough to small guys inside and I’m skilled enough against bigger guys to outwork them. I also like to take guys out a bit and blow by them or take a jumper. I’m a good rebounder, at least I think I’m a good rebounder [laughs]. I can get up and down the floor really well, too.
Coming from just outside Philadelphia, how do you think Penn State is perceived in and around the city?
Moore: When you say Penn State to people they either went there, they had a brother, sister or cousin who went there, so you have a giant alumni base and everybody knows something about the school. From the basketball side of it, a reason why I liked Penn State was because the Big Ten is the best league in the country without a question. It’s somewhat local, and my parents could come see me play against some of the best players and teams in the country. That’s kind of the general consensus is around here.
With that being said, can you talk about the influence of the Big 5 (Villanova, Temple, Penn, La Salle and St. Joe’s) in Philadelphia basketball and who recruited you throughout high school?
Moore: I received offers from Temple, Drexel, La Salle, Penn. I never received an offer from St. Joe’s, but they did express interest in me a little later. I also got offers from VCU and a couple of Patriot League teams and Ivy teams. Growing up in Philly, you always hear about the Big 5 teams. You know, they play well in their individual conferences, but when they come together for Big 5 games, it’s crazy. You’re fighting for bragging rights. You want to be the best team in the city, and that’s all that matters [in the Big 5]. And those games are insane at the Palestra. Going to games there was one of the reasons why I wanted to play college basketball.
Were you at the Penn State-La Salle game at the Palestra [on Dec. 5]?
Moore: Yeah I was there. Seeing all the alumni come to the game made it a really cool game to go to.
Last question. I can tell from just hearing him after games and seeing him on the court that Chambers is a high-energy guy and brings a lot of passion. What do you think that says about a coach and a guy who you’re going to be playing for next year?
Moore: I mean he really cares and it rubs off on his team. We’ve hit a rough patch, but we’re still playing our behinds off even when the games aren’t going the way we want them to all the time. We’ll be better next year. Coach [Chambers] is one of the most energetic people I know and I can’t wait to play for him next year.
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