Where Are They Now? Andre Moore

Not too many imports stick around in Australia these days, and even less become adopted Aussies after their playing career has ended. However this is not the case for former excitement machine Andre Moore.

Moore arrived in Australia in 1990 after a short stint in the NBA and has never left.

“A-Train” signed with the Bullets in 1990 teaming up with some of the league’s best talent Leroy Loggins, Derek Rucker, Paul Rees and Robert Sibley. That season the Bullets lost in the finals to the Perth Wildcats, however the Bullets took out a swag of awards including league MVP (Rucker), Coach of the year (Kerle) and Defensive player of the year (Loggins).

Unfortunately that would be the closest Moore would get to a NBL championship. Moore however turned into a fan favorite with his power dunks, blocks and low post play. He was a regularly in the top 5 for rebounds and blocks per game as well as averaging over 20 points per game throughout his first 4 seasons.

These days he may be better known as the father of future AFL star Archie Smith who was selected by the Brisbane Loins in the 2014 AFL draft as well as running his basketball camps and community work around Brisbane.

We caught up with Moore to find out what it was like playing in the NBL in the 90s as well as an update on what he’s currently up to.

You debuted in the NBL in 1990 with the Brisbane Bullets, how did coming to Australia come about?

AM: Brian Kerle was in the U.S.scouting a big man he had been told about. My CBA team was in town to play against this guys team. I was matched up against Kerles prospect, I outplayed him that evening. Kerle turns his attention to me! I was not aware of his interest in me, until after the game, when my coach informed me that this Australian guy from Briz-Bane, was interested in me bringing my talents down under! (laughs) The rest as they say,is his-story!

Was that Bullets team the best NBL team you played on in terms of talent?

AM: Yes indeed! That team in 1990, featured a 3 or 4 time NBL MVP Leroy Loggins, Derek Rucker, my fellow import, was named NBL MVP, that year. And I was 6th in the voting for MVP and was voted in as the top centre that year! Even though my true position is a power forward.

It was also the first year in NBL history,that (3) players from (1) team were placed on the All NBL first team! It was a great year!

Lots of NBL fans forget you actually played for the Hobart Devils in 1995. What was it like playing in Tassie? Would you like to see them back in the league?

AM: I had a very wonderful experience playing for the Hobart Tassie/Tatts Devils! The fan base was strong and faithful! The city is beautiful! And the people in Hobart really embraced me! For that I am grateful, and It would be really fantastic, if they were to bring a team back to the town.

You left the league in 1995 and didn’t come back until 1999 when you signed with the Taipans. What did you do during those 4 years?

AM: During my hiatus from the NBL, I focused on laying a foundation for myself after basketball. I started up my mentoring program. I work with people of all ages and backgrounds. My aim is to provide guidance and knowledge to those that are less fortunate than myself. I also stayed in touch with the game I love, by playing in the local QLD State league with the Toowoomba Moutaineers, Brisbane Brewers and finally the Cairns Marlins.

My stint with the Marlins, led to an eventual return to the NBL as a member of the inaugural first NBL side in Cairns called the Taipans!

After retiring in 2001 I noticed you stayed in Australia, what have you been up to since then?

AM: After retirement, I put more time in to my mentoring program. It has expanded throughout the country! My main focus is raising my children. Helping them to hopefully fulfill their dreams.

Do you still follow the NBL? Have you been to any games recently?

AM: When Brisbane still had a team in the early 2000’s.I attended all of the games with my family. We enjoyed ourselves immensely! I do watch games on t.v. ocassionally now. Hopefully, we will have some live action back in Brissy soon.

Do you stay in contact with anyone from your NBL days?

AM: Leroy and I stay connected to this day. We have collaborated on a few community projects over the years. I also recently ran into Mark Davis in LAX airport, of all places! I was on my way back from visiting my family and friends in Chicago, and he was returning to Australia after visiting with his family in Philadelphia! Its a small world!