Linden’s Moore signs with Cincinnati; Before going Division 1 the basketball standout seeks to lift Tigers to a championship season

PHOTO COURTESY OF ANTHONY DREJAJ - Linden's Quadri Moore signed with Cincinnati Wednesday, with family, teammates and coaches present. At left is assistant coach Anthony Drejaj and at right is head coach Phil Colicchio.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ANTHONY DREJAJ – Linden’s Quadri Moore signed with Cincinnati Wednesday, with family, teammates and coaches present. At left is assistant coach Anthony Drejaj and at right is head coach Phil Colicchio.

Now that he has signed his national letter-of-intent to attend Cincinnati on a full basketball scholarship, Quadri Moore has only one thing in mind.

That’s winning.

That’s helping Linden win its first county and state championships since 2007.

One of the top big men in New Jersey, Moore gave Cincinnati a verbal commitment nearly two months ago and on Wednesday made it official by signing on the dotted line in front of his family and coaches.

“I went with my heart and my gut feeling,” said the 6-9 senior forward when he chose Cincinnati over Seton Hall.

“It came down to feeling more comfortable with Cincinnati and the coach (Mick Cronin),” said Moore, who was courted by Cincinnati, but did not make an official visit there. “Being away from home can also help the growing up process more than staying around here.”

Moore, who last year helped Linden reach the Union County Tournament and Group 4 state championship games – the Tigers lost the UCT final at the buzzer and then the Group 4 final in overtime – with averages of 14.6 points and 5.7 rebounds, is hoping Cincinnati will be the next step that leads to his ultimate goal of playing in the NBA one day.

“It will help me get there as long as I get there,” Moore said. “They have a good coaching staff and they’ve been to the NCAA Tournament the last couple of years (the last three to be exact).”

A varsity starter since the beginning of his freshman year, it was the pounds that he shed – going roughly from 290 to his present weight of 225 – that played a big part in the development of his game.

“If I was still around 290 I wouldn’t be going to a Division 1 school,” Moore said. “Losing the weight has helped make me more versatile and agile on my feet.”

One thing Moore, who will turn 19 on Nov. 22, is sure about is the success Linden could have this season.

“I really think the team we have this year can be the same as the one I played on my freshman year, only with a different me,” Moore said.

Three years ago Linden captured the North 2, Group 4 championship before narrowly missing playing in the Group 4 state championship game.

This time Moore not only wants to get back to the Group 4 final, but wants to be the player that leads the Tigers to the crown for the first time in seven years.

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