Moore Showcases Talent on Trip to China
June 17, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - As she neared the end of her career at Illinois, former Fighting Illini guard Amber Moore hoped that she would have a chance to play professionally. While she wasn't among the players selected in the WNBA Draft, Moore may have helped kick-start her career with a two-week trip to China in late April and early May.
Moore was invited to be a part of the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars team on its annual exposure trip and came home with first-team All-Tour honors after having an impressive showing in the three tournaments the team competed in during its trip.
Moore originally received a call from Illinois' assistant coach Tianna Kirkland about an opportunity to play for the NetScouts basketball team on its trip to China. The trip lasted for 15 days during which the team played in three tournaments in three cities: Shenzhen, Nan'an and Jiujiang. Seven teams participated in the tour including two separate Chinese teams as well as teams from Australia, Slovenia, Denmark and New Zealand in addition to the undefeated (9-0) NetScouts Basketball USA squad.
"The girls that were with me were all really nice and down to earth," Moore said of her teammates. "The first time we all met we got along really well. The day before our first game, we ended up not having any practice or even a shoot around, and we ended up playing really well together.
"We were able to go to Hong Kong on our day off to sightsee and shop. We saw how different everything was over there. It was funny because everywhere we went, everyone was staring at us. They just weren't used to seeing how tall we were. We had two 6-5 girls on the team. They were very surprised and shocked, but it was a really good time."
Moore was named the most valuable player of the first tournament in Shenzhen after leading the USA All-Stars to the tournament title. She posted a 20-point, eight-rebound effort in the team's win over China, and had 17 points, four assists and two steals in the 90-59 win over Denmark. Moore averaged a team-high 15.3 points per game while leading USA to a 3-0 mark against teams from China, Denmark and New Zealand to start the tour. She also averaged 4.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals during the three-game swing.
Moore's time at Illinois was valuable to get her to where she is now. By the end of the trip she was selected for first-team honors for the entire trip after scoring a combined 90 points (10.0 pg), while averaging 3.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists for the undefeated Americans.
"I think our coaching staff has done a great job," Moore said of the Illinois staff. "They've taught me a lot of different fundamentals and helped my game a lot as far as my quickness, my shot has gotten a lot better since our new coaching staff has been here and my all-around game has improved. I've grown so much in my defensive skills and getting the fundamentals down, and I think that helped me get to where I am now."
With professional scouts from different countries keeping an eye on the U.S. team throughout the tour, the trip was all about exposure. Moore was able to spark some interest with her strong performance as the U.S. went 9-0 during the trip and scouts from Hungary showed a great interest in the former Illini.
"Waiting on my agent to find me a job is a long process," Moore said. "The overseas leagues don't start until about September. My agent told me, `Make sure you're working out and staying in shape, and I'll get in touch with you.' One of the girls on my China team has the same agent and she got a job offer just the other day, so I think it's slowly approaching. I'm just trying to be patient and see where I'll be playing."