Big Ups for UCI Alum

Darren Moore, a former UC Irvine basketball player, was drafted in the sixth round of the NBA Developmental League Draft on Nov. 2 by a Golden State Warriors affiliate─– the Santa Cruz Warriors.

Moore, known for a Spider-Man tattoo across his chest and exceptional ball-handling, played from 2008 to 2011 for the Anteaters. As a senior in 2011, Moore led UCI while averaging 17.0 points and 5.9 rebounds for Coach Russell Turner’s squad.

The Chino Hills native transfered to UCI after his first collegiate season at Citrus College.  Moore started in all 32 games as a junior at Irvine.

“I’ve learned a lot more since I’ve been out of school and into the real world,” Moore said Friday night.

Shortly after graduating from UCI, Moore signed his first professional contract in Europe, where he played for one season in Serbia and Hungary.

“I had some ups and downs, but it was a learning experience overall,” Moore said.

Those downs came last November with Serbian team Radninki Kragujevac. Moore played only four games with the Adriatic League team before he was released. According to a Radninki Kragujevac press release, the team parted ways with the former UCI guard because Moore “did not perform as expected.” In his four game stint, Moore averaged 1 point and 1.5 rebounds, while playing 13 minutes per game.

In February, Moore signed another contract this time in Hungary for Factum Sport (FS) Debrecen, where he averaged 9.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in 11 games for the Hungarian squad. Moore, grateful for the opportunity to play abroad, knows that it’s important for him to continue learning the game.

“Life’s been good”, he said. “[I have] been working out every day and learning what it takes to be a professional athlete.”

Now Moore’s game is returning to the states  one step closer to his dream of playing in the NBA.

“It feels great and the anticipation to get started is already kicking in,” Moore said. “I got a lot of work to do and I have to build from the bottom up and that’s what I’m used to.

“I was actually watching basketball at the time [I was drafted], waiting for my phone to ring. I was excited mostly and ready to get back on the court. I’ve been working hard for a while, so it was a good feeling.”

Moore will join former Big West foe and Long Beach State forward T.J. Robinson with the D-league franchise that is making Santa Cruz its home for the first season after relocating from Bismarck, North Dakota. The Santa Cruz Warriors will kick off their inaugural season on Nov. 30 with a road game against the Reno Bighorns, an Atlanta Hawks affiliate.