football

Moore makes most of return

OneofthegreatestplayersinPurdue'shistoryspentagoodchunkofthesecondhalfwatchingthegamefromthestudentsection.
E'TwaunMoorewasgoingtomakesurehegotthemostofhisreturntocampus.
MooretookabreakfromhisbusyNBAscheduletoattendtheBoilermakers'gameagainstBostonCollegeWednesdayandwasofficiallyrecognizedforhisjerseynumberhangingintherafters,thoughit'sbeenthereforyearsnow,athalftime.
ButMooremadesurethiswasn'tjustaget-a-special-ball,wave-and-smileexperience.
Aftersittingwithhisfamilyinnormalbleacherseatsinthefirsthalf,MooreheadedouttominglewithThePaintCrewmidwaythroughthesecond,snatchingastudent'shardhatatonepointandjoininginonthesection'scheers.
Hesnappedphotosandsignedautographsforanyonewhoasked,showedhisbrotherEzellJr.theteam'slockerroomandpracticecourtafterthegameandgenerallyhadanenjoyabletripbacktoWestLafayette.
AndallthatwasknowinghewasonlygoingtogetahandfulofhoursofsleepbeforejettingofftoNewYorkThursdaymorningtojoinhisOrlandoMagicteammates.
Butitwascertainlyworththequicktrip.
"It'sdefinitelyexciting,"Mooresaidbeforethegame."Idefinitelyhadagoodfouryearshere,sotocomebackandhaveatributewiththejerseyintherafters,it'sexcitingforme."
Duringthehalftimepresentation,MoorewasgivenacommemorativebasketballandposedwithathleticdirectorMorganBurke.ThenhespoketothefansinanearlypackedMackeyArena.
Hethanked"thebestfansincollegebasketball"andhisfamilyfortheirsupport.HethankedCoachMattPainterfortheopportunitytoplayatPurdue,forlettinghim"getupenoughshotstogetto2,000"pointsthatallowedhimtogethisnumberintherafters.
"Ineverthoughtthat'dbedowntheline,tohavemyjerseyintherafters,"Mooresaid."Iwasjustlike,'Man,I'mhopingIgetachancetoplay.'Iwasjusthopingtogetonthecourtperiod.Soforthistohappenisdefinitelyhuge."
ThoughMoore'sschedulehasbeenhectic,hesaidhetriestowatchasmanyPurduegamesashecan.Heestimatedhe'dseenfiveoftheteam'sfirsteightonTVbeforeWednesdaynight.
Watchingtheteaminperson,though,wasanewexperience.
He'dbeenbacktoMackeysincetherenovation-he'sbeenoncampusinthesummersworkingwithcurrentBoilermakersinopengyms-butnotforagameandnotasafan.
AndhewasOKwiththewait,hejoked.
"Iguessthat'sagoodsign-itmeansI'vebeenbusy,I'vebeenworking,"hesaid."AslongasIkeepajob,it'sgood."
Thatjobisn'tgoingtoobadeither.
MoorehasplayedineverygamethisseasonfortheMagic,startingthreegamesandcomingoffthebenchintheother15.He'saveraging6.8points,1.9reboundsand1.8assistsin23.3minutes.He'salsoshootingateam-best39percentonthree-pointers.
"It'sbeengoingwell,beenplayingalot.We're6-12rightnow,wishwe'dwonacouplemoregames,butit'sstillexcitingandjustablessingtohaveajobplayingbasketball,"saidMoore,inhisthirdNBAseasonandsecondwithOrlando."I'mlettingmyselfenjoyit.You'vejustgottokeepstrivingtogetbetter.
"Ijustshootthreesnow.Theyjustwantmetoshoot.I'mlike,'OK,ifthat'sallyouwantmetodo…'Ilikeit."
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