The Washington, D.C. area has been a basketball-crazy Mecca for at least five decades.
Really good hoopers have been playing all over that area. High school all Americans, guys who made it to the pros, guys who became sports bloggers, you name it.
If you ask any of the guys who know that scene and understand basketball talent who the best of them all was, they would tell you one guy that few people have heard of.
That guy is Moose.
Moose is the only guy I know who did not play one second of high school basketball who was offered a full scholarship to play in college. True to his character, he turned it down. Moose did his own thing in his own way. He played basketball that way too, and man did he whip guys on the court.
Moose dropped 68 in a single Spring League game
In a Spring league game at Blessed Sacrament in DC one night, he dropped in 68 points.
From outside Moose schooled everybody. His shot was a stroke of genius. Bamb. Bucket. All the time. All night long. Accurate, smooth, and consistent, Moose would drop long-range jumpers on anybody, anywhere, anytime. He was the ultimate playground legend. Star high school players would take on Moose on the playgrounds and get destroyed and humbled. It was tough for them to come to terms with the fact that a guy who wasn’t even playing high school hoops was so much better.
Down low Moose was unstoppable
When Moose took you down low, you had no chance of stopping him. He knew exactly how to position himself and use his shoulders so you could never block his shot. And he scored at will inside. Ridiculously proficient and skilled, Moose was a basketball savant, a prodigy, seriously dominant.
My friends and I have had earnest discussions about whether Moose is the greatest basketball player who has ever lived. Yes, we have compared him to Michael Jordan.
Moose could shoot as well and was as unstoppable around the hoop. His basketball IQ was that of a genius, sort of like Rick Barry. He knew every nuance of the game, who to pass to — though that wasn’t his strength because he shot a lot – and who he could take to the hole. That was everyone.
So good he made us uneasy
Moose was so good it made us uneasy and made us feel devalued. Ask any member of the Baby Boomer Brotherhood who grew up in the D.C. area who the best player from that basketball-crazy city was, and you would get answers such as these: Adrian Dantley, Dave Bing, Kevin Durant, Johnny Dawkins, Hawkeye Whitney, Jo Jo Hunter, and Sammy Sportface.
Go ahead. Name a hundred more guys. Or a thousand. I don’t care who you come up with. Guys who went pro, college All-Americas, it doesn’t matter.
If you think any of them is better than Moose, you never saw Moose play or competed against him.
He was better than all of them.
He was the greatest unheard-of hooper of all time.
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
Sammy Sportface Has a Vision -- Check It Out
Sammy Sportface -- The Baby Boomer Brotherhood Blog -- Facebook Page