WORTHINGTON, Ohio -- If the fit is right, there is no reason to wait. That was the motto for Worthington Christian rising junior guard DJ Moore, who made headlines on Thursday when he committed to Liberty, the reigning Atlantic Sun conference champions.
"First and foremost, God led me to pick Liberty. It just felt like the perfect fit," Moore told 270 Hoops on Thursday. "The culture and background of the basketball program and coaching staff really made the choice easy."
A Christian school student with strong religious ties, Moore could not pass up the opportunity to go to a Christian university like Liberty.
"That's what is great about this school, I get to continue following my faith strongly in college and it's encouraged by the staff and the culture."
Moore, who led Worthington Christian to an MSL title and runner-up finish in the Division III district finals, has been one of the top point guards in the state of Ohio this summer. Despite a COVID-19 shortened AAU season, Moore has been able to play in front of college coaches through the use of livestreamed AAU events over the last few weeks.
Drawing comparisons to former Davidson and Westerville North standout guard Jack Gibbs, Moore is a bigger lead guard at 6-foot-3 that offers an advanced level of passing and playmaking ability. While Moore was more than likely to garner mid-major and high-major level attention, the floor general felt the time was right to make his pledge to Liberty.
"It was a great pick not just as a basketball player, but as a person as well," Moore said. "From an educational standpoint, Liberty stood out the most in what I plan to major in."
Moore, who is looking to major in exercise science into sports medicine, felt like he found the perfect fit with Liberty.
The Flames are coming off a 30-4 season where they defeated Lipscomb for the ASUN conference championship shortly before the outbreak of COVID-19 ended the season prematurely.
Had the NCAA tournament not been cancelled, Liberty, led under the direction of Ritchie McKay, who has been one of the most successful low-major coaches in the country, would have punched their second-straight trip to the Big Dance.
After spending six seasons working under national champion coach Tony Bennett at Virginia, McKay returned to Liberty after two seasons as the program's head coach from 2007-09.
McKay's return to Lyncbhurg, Va. has been outstanding, with Liberty racking up four-straight seasons of 20+ wins, including 59 wins and back-to-back ASUN conference titles in the last two years.
Moore was intrigued by not only McKay's success as Liberty's head coach, but the time the Flames have invested in him.
"The relationships I've built with the coaching staff and Coach McKay himself really persuaded me to choose Liberty," Moore said.
Liberty had been recruiting Moore for well over a year but finally pulled the trigger on Wednesday with a scholarship offer. Waiting less than 24 hours to make a decision, Moore had his sights set on Lynchburg and made what he feels was an easy choice to choose one of the best small Division I programs in the nation.
"They like their guards to be able to get out and go so I feel like I can fit in that way because that's what I like to do," Moore said. "They really like how I attack the basket, get everyone involved and they appreciate the poise that I have on the court and how I look to make everyone better."
Moore has done what a point guard should do the past two years, earning all-state honors in Division III as a freshman and sophomore. With Worthington Christian returning a large chunk of last year's talent, Moore will be the key cog that makes the Warriors go.
Falling just a hair shy of a district title in 2020, Moore and the Warriors will be back for revenge in 2021. This time around, however, Moore won't have the pressure and stress of the recruiting process to deal with.
HS programs in Central Ohio: Send us your schedules for June! We want to get out and see your players this month!