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Indiana Basketball: Former guard A.J. Moye joins Valparaiso University coaching staff



A.J. Moye, Taken: 2001, Photographer Studio: Athletic Department, City: Bloomington, IN, Copyright Owner: Indiana University Last updated: Friday, September 27, 2019 12:07:08 URL: This collection presented by: The IU Digital Library Program and Indiana University Office of University Archives and Records Management

As it was announced earlier today per Valparaiso athletics, former Indiana guard A.J. Moye was announced as the new assistant coach at Valparaiso University joining new head coach Roger Powell Jr.’s staff.

Moye played for the Indiana Hoosiers from 2001-2004 where he averaged 6.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in 129 total games. He also helped lead Indiana to the 2002 National Championship game and was Master Basketball Trainer for Kobe Bryant’s Academy, Mamba Sports Academy.

Before coming to Bloomington to play for former head coach Bob Knight and Indiana, A.J. Moye was the 2000 Georgia Mr. Basketball and was an All-American at Westlake High School.

Below is a portion full release from Valparaiso University on A.J. Moye joining the men’s basketball coaching staff.

Valparaiso University men’s basketball head coach Roger Powell Jr. has announced two additions to his staff as A.J. Moye has been named an assistant coach, while Quintin Garrison joins the staff as Director of Basketball Operations.

Moye, a standout at Indiana University during his playing days who took the Hoosiers to the 2002 national title game before beginning a professional playing career, has trained professional and collegiate players since 2011 as part of Rising Talent Development (Mamba Sports Academy + Sports Academy), serving as the Master Basketball Trainer for Kobe Bryant’s academy.

Moye and Powell were adversaries during their collegiate days as Big Ten rivals, and later finished out their playing careers as teammates with Skyliners Frankfurt in Germany in 2010-11.

“The opportunity to join the coaching staff at Valparaiso University means the world to me,” Moye said. “Roger Powell and I have been going at it since college, when he played at Illinois and I played at Indiana. I could not be happier and more energetic to come back to Indiana for my first college coaching position. I’ve experienced the love of the game in the Hoosier State. I’m a worker; I’m up at 4:30 every morning. I love working and getting after it. My specialty is skill development. I can’t wait to get to Valpo and get started.”

Moye has trained countless NBA players including All-Stars DeMar Derozan and Kyrie Irving as well as former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz. Since 2014, he has been part of the boys varsity basketball staff at Oak Park High School in Oak Park, Calif., where the team was ranked in the top 25 in the state of California in every year of his tenure. He previously served as the head boys varsity basketball coach at Oak Christian High School in Westlake Village, Calif. from 2012-2014.

“Playing against A.J. at Illinois and then playing together professionally, I’ve been able to develop a great relationship with him,” Powell said. “His work ethic and winning pedigree bode extremely well for Valpo Basketball. He has tremendous recognition in the state of Indiana, and I’m excited to add another Final Four to our coaching staff.”

There is no shortage of NCAA Tournament success on Valpo’s staff, as Moye and Powell have both played in the Final Four and Powell and assistant coach Matt Gordon have both coached in the Final Four. Powell is one of just 12 coaches in the last 25 years who has coached in the national title game after previously having played in the national title game. Only two of those coached in the national title game after having played in it for a different school – Powell and Kenny Payne (Louisville / Kentucky).

After earning Mr. Basketball in the state of Georgia in 2000 and earning All-American status at Westlake High School, Moye became a standout with the Hoosiers, where he played from 2000-2004 after coming in as part of head coach Bob Knight’s final recruiting class at IU. He went on to play in the professional ranks in Iceland, Germany and Finland. During that time, he was a 2011 German League All-Star, the 2010 Finnish Basketball Defensive Player of the Year and Finnish MVP, a 2006 German League All-Star and the 2006 Icelandic League MVP.

Moye’s playing career ended abruptly and his life journey was put on hold when he suffered a stroke.

“After my stroke, I was starting from Square 1,” he said. “I couldn’t walk; I couldn’t talk. It took seven or eight months for me to start walking and moving, and it took me a year or two to fully get back on my feet. It’s a humbling experience to go through after you were one of the top athletes in the world. Once I went through that, I knew I could get through anything. It’s all about faith.”

Moye’s family includes his wife Cynthia, his daughter Solana (20), his daughter Bella (4), his son Elisha Kobe (1) and his daughter Lola Faith (three weeks).

What They’re Saying About Coach Moye

Jaime Jaquez Jr., 2023 Pac-12 Player of the Year, Second Team All-American for UCLA: “A.J. has been a huge part in helping me and my career. He has been my mentor, trainer, friend, big brother and a man who believed in me when no one else did. What he can bring to a program is great energy, a positive attitude and an ability to get the best out of his players. He can relate to his players because he has been in their shoes and knows what’s to be expected. His basketball IQ is at an extremely high level. What I value most is that he instills confidence in his players and gets the best out of them at all times. He is more than just a coach, he is a leader and teaches lessons that carry beyond basketball. He will make an impact that will last a lifetime.”

Riley Battin, Four-Year Starter at Utah, Scored Over 1,000 Collegiate Points: “A.J. Moye is a fantastic person and trainer. He is able to connect with all kinds of players in a personal way that builds real love with those around him. His commitment to the game and constant improvement is so contagious to those around him. He is a selfless leader who has impacted so many throughout his life.”

SEE ALSO: Indiana basketball student section named top five in college basketball

Make sure to follow Hoosier Illustrated on Twitter @Indiana_FRN and YouTube to stay up to date on all of the news, updates and coverage of Indiana University athletics. 


Mike Woodson ‘always looking to better’ Indiana basketball with final available scholarship



The Indiana basketball program has one available scholarship for next season and Mike Woodson is 'always looking to better' the roster. (Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times-USA TODAY NETWORK)

As Mike Woodson and the Indiana basketball program approach the first segment of summer workouts, its roster is still not full.

Currently, the Hoosiers have one open scholarship for the upcoming season.

On Wednesday, Woodson made it clear — in order to compete at the top of the Big Ten and around the country, he’s ‘always looking to better’ Indiana basketball.

“We’re always looking,” Woodson said of his final scholarship spot. “Based on a lot of the players tonight that might pull out (of the NBA draft), there might be a player that falls through the cracks. I’m watching it closely and I’m always looking to better our team and if we can pick up someone, based on who falls through the cracks, then we will.”

The NBA Draft withdrawal deadline was May 31 at 11:59 pm and while there were some big names announcing their intentions on returning to college, Woodson isn’t going to go for just anybody.

With six new players coming in next season as of now, including three transfers, chemistry, role and fit are incredibly important.

“I mean I got really seven new players and I gotta figure it out in terms of how we gonna play, who can do what,” Woodson said. “So I’m kinda anxious to see this next week. A lot of the guys are coming back this weekend and getting them in the gym and see who can do what.”

The role that Indiana needs to fill is on the perimeter. The Hoosiers are lacking the consistent knockdown shooting it needs in order to raise their ceiling this year. As of now, a lot is being put on the untapped potential of the roster … mainly the young pieces.

Indiana has five-star newcomers in Mackenzie Mgbako and Kel’el Ware. It also has core pieces returning in Xavier Johnson, Trey Galloway and Malik Reneau.

But, Reneau, Mgbako and Ware have combined to start just seven games at the college level.

The talent level is there, as is the versatility — something Indiana hasn’t had from top to bottom on its roster since Woodson took the program over.

When it came down to assembling the roster that is currently constructed, while the Indiana basketball staff had full control of the players incoming, there will be a taste of what Xavier Johnson wanted as well.

“Yeah, he asked me who I was interested in and I told him and we got a couple of the guys that I actually liked,” Johnson said. “We built a solid, solid team coming in.

“I would say from my watch, I think we have a pretty — a pretty unique, unique team. We’ll be more athletic than last year.”

So, as Woodson and the rest of the Indiana basketball staff look at its final scholarship spot, it’s one that is 100 percent open for use, but not one that will just be tossed around unless the specific skillset arises.

SEE ALSO: ‘It’s going to be my job to bridge the gap’: Mike Woodson’s vision for Indiana basketball is coming to life

Make sure to follow Hoosier Illustrated on Twitter @Indiana_FRN and YouTube to stay up to date on all of the news, updates and coverage of Indiana University athletics. 

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Indiana basketball senior guard Xavier Johnson gives update on his health: ‘I’m 100 (percent)’



Dec 10, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Indiana Hoosiers guard Xavier Johnson (0) reacts after a three point score against the Arizona Wildcats during the second half at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

Besides the additions of Oregon transfer center Kel’el Ware and the commitment of 2023 five-star forward Mackenzie Mgbako, the biggest offseason win for Indiana basketball was the return of senior guard Xavier Johnson.

Last season, Johnson played and started in just 11 games before he suffered a broken foot on Dec. 17 after playing only nine minutes against Kanas. He would go on to miss the reminder of the season.

Towards the end of last season however, there were rumblings that Johnson and Indiana would seek a medical hardship waiver, which they opted to do, with the senior guard running out of chances to realistically get back into the rotation and contribute.

Going into the offseason, the potential return of Xavier Johnson quickly became one of the bigger storylines for the Indiana basketball program and on April 26th, it was announced that Johnson’s medical hardship waiver was approved by the NCAA. 

Mike Woodson and Indiana basketball had their starting point guard back.

“It’s been a long process, honestly,” said Xavier Johnson when speaking to the media on Wednesday night. “I had to see it all through, talked to my coach (Woodson) and my family. The best option was to come back to school just for the benefit of my health. I would say I thought I was gonna come back in February, late February, but I think it was best for the team just to keep competing (last year) without me and I’ll just be there to support.”

During the process of the medical hardship waiver application, there is not much that a college athlete can do but just wait and see what the NCAA decides based on the facts.

Waiting is exactly what Xavier Johnson did.

“I really just had to wait, honestly, I mean there’s nothing right to the process, but waiting,” Johnson added.

As a senior and the elite competitor that Xavier Johnson is, it certainly was hard for him to have to sit on the sidelines and watch his teammates at Indiana play without him for the second half of last season. When Johnson went down, the keys were given to freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino as the primary ball handler for the Hoosiers, who used that opportunity to play his way into a potential lottery pick in the NBA Draft.

Even though there was a chance that Xavier Johnson could have returned late last year, the best thing for Johnson in the long term was to sit out and have a better chance at coming back this season and playing a full senior campaign.

When Johnson got the word that his wavier was approved by the NCAA, you can say the wait was well worth it.

“It was a long process of getting my waiver, but once I got it, that weight was off my shoulders.” said Johnson.

“Coach (Woodson) called me and asked me if I wanted to transfer. I was like ‘what you mean do I want to transfer? Did I not get my waiver?’ He was like ‘yeah you got your waiver. Do you want to come back and play for me?’ I was like ‘yeah!’ (laughter).”

Besides Johnson, there might not be a happier and more excited person on this earth to know that his starting point guard, his senior leader, is returning to help captain the 2023-24 Indiana Hoosiers than Mike Woodson.

The coach-player relationship that Mike Woodson and Xavier Johnson have built these past few seasons is truly special. Woodson has a special connection with his point guards and really understands the value of having a great one like Johnson.

And as far as Xavier Johnson’s health heading into the summer portion of the Indiana offseason?

“I’m 100 (percent),” Johnson simply and confidently said.

SEE ALSO: ‘I think we are getting into more of what coach Woodson wants’: Former IU basketball player Christian Watford discusses Hoosiers offseason

Make sure to follow Hoosier Illustrated on Twitter @Indiana_FRN and YouTube to stay up to date on all of the news, updates and coverage of Indiana University athletics. 

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Indiana basketball: Kel’el Ware among thirty-five athletes to participate in USA U19 Men’s National Team Training Camp



Indiana’s Kel’el Ware Among Thirty-Five Athletes to Participate in USA U19 Men’s National Team Training Camp - 5/31/2023 12:00:00 PM - Photo Credit: Indiana Men's Basketball

As announced per an Indiana basketball release, sophomore center Kel’el Ware was among thirty-five athletes selected to participate in USA U19 Men’s National Team Training Camp.

In April, Ware announced he was transferring to Indiana after spending one season at Oregon. Ware averaged 6.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game in one season at Oregon.

Below is the full release.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – USA Basketball today announced the 35 athletes expected to participate in the 2023 USA U19 Men’s National Team Training Camp at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Camp begins June 11 with the 12-member team to be announced before departing for the 2023 FIBA U19 Men’s World Cup Championship, scheduled for June 24-July 2 in Debrecen, Hungary.

Included in that list is IU sophomore center Kel’el Ware who is joining the Hoosiers after spending his freshman season at Oregon.  He represented USA Basketball winning a gold medal at the 2022 FIBA U18 Americas Championship in Tijuana, Mexico.  In six games, he averaged 15.7 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 67.2% from the field in 19.4 minutes per game.  He also had 11 blocked shots.

He played for the 2022 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team that defeated the World Select Team 102-80 in the 23rd Nike Hoop Summit and came off the bench to score 11 points on four-of-five shooting from the field and also grabbed five rebounds.

At Oregon, the North Little Rock, Arkansas native played 35 games and started four as a freshman for the Ducks.  He averaged 6.6 points and 4.1 rebounds in 15.8 minutes of action per game and led the team in blocked shots with 45.  His best game of the year was an 18-point, nine-board effort against eventual national champion, UConn.  He also had nine rebounds against Michigan State.

Athletes attending training camp were selected by the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee.  Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens, born on or after January 1, 2004.  Nearly half of the athletes have prior USA Basketball experience. Ten invitees have won a gold medal as a member of a USA Basketball junior national team.

Supporting as court coaches during trials will be Jonas Hayes (Georgia State University), Kevin Kruger (UNLV), TJ Otzelberger (Iowa State University) and Micah Shrewsberry (Notre Dame).

The United States will square off with Lebanon, Madagascar and Slovenia in pool play.

The U.S. will face off against Lebanon and Madagascar for the first time at a 2023 FIBA Men’s U19 World Cup. The U.S. own a 2-0 record against Slovenia at the U19 World Cup.

The United States has won the competition eight times, including three of the last four competitions—in 2015, 2019 and 2021.

SEE ALSO: Kel’el Ware ready to make big impact for Indiana basketball: ‘(I’m ready) to prove everybody wrong’

Make sure to follow Hoosier Illustrated on Twitter @Indiana_FRN and YouTube to stay up to date on all of the news, updates and coverage of Indiana University athletics. 

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