Getting To Know The 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team: Mike Moser
March 24, 2009 - Colorado Springs, Colo.
Mike Moser (Grant H.S. / Portland, Ore.) may be the local kid on the 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit roster, but the rest of the country knows the UCLA-bound forward as one of the nation's best big men. Touted for his length and versatility, Moser talked with USABasketball.com about his high school career, international basketball and why he wants to be a Bruin in the fall.
What does it feel like to be selected to this team?
I was really excited when I found out I had been invited. Playing for you country, there is definitely no bigger honor than that, as an athlete at least. The day the announcement was made, a lot of people came up to me to say congratulations. I'm representing my country and my city. I'm the only guy in this from Portland. That's a little bit of pressure, but it's all part of the game.
Who are you most looking forward to playing with?
Really everybody. This team is the best of the best, so it's going to be a fun competition all-around. Avery Bradley and Abdul Gaddy are two of my good friends. I know them very well, and I'm excited to get to play with them again. We've played together in AAU.
Did you watch the Nike Hoop Summit last year?
I did watch it last year. The level of talent they had on the floor last year is another reason I'm really excited to play in this year's game. I thought it was fun to watch because a lot of those guys are going to go on to be pros in the NBA.
From The Sideline
'Mike is multi-talented. He has a great left. He shoots the ball well. At 6-8, he can shoot and he can pass. He has nice handle. He is just a very versatile player that can play three or four positions on the floor.
'He definitely has the skills to play at the next level. I don't think it will be hard for him to adjust to the college level at all, and I expect him to get minutes.
'He's a great young man. He treats people really well, strangers, friends, it doesn't matter. He's really good with all the kids in our camps, and the freshmen in our school love him. He's a momma's boy -- loves his mom, and he's a fun kid to be around.'
- Tony Brodous, head coach
Have you ever played international basketball before?
Just this past summer I played in the Global Challenge. It was more of a fast-paced game and a team game. You can't really do a lot of one-on-one. It's a lot more thinking than just athleticism. I think it's a nice twist to how we play in the USA.
Are you looking forward to playing in the Rose Garden?
That's every local kid's dream to play in the Rose Garden, so that will be a major plus. And playing in front of all my family and my friends, is just going to make it extra special. I've played in it twice before, but this will be my last time playing in it for a while, and, hopefully, I have the opportunity again in the future.
How would you describe your game?
I think the best part of my game is my defense. I am very long, and I'm pretty fast. A lot of people say I play like Scottie Pippen.
What area of your game are you most focused on improving right now?
Probably my shooting. I'm a pretty good mid-range shooter, but I am working on my outside shooting right now.
What is your least favorite workout or drill?
I don't think I really have a least favorite. I just love to play basketball, so I can't really think of anything I hate doing.
What motivates you?
I just really like to win. I think of myself as a big-time competitor.
How did you finish your final high school season?
We won the semifinal, but lost the game to go to the championship by about five. It was tough loss, but they were a tough team as well. We wrapped up the season on a good note. I will say that. I was definitely fun to end it with the guys that I did end it with. I expected to make it to the state championship, but we fought hard. I can't be mad at anybody's effort.
*Moser and his Grant High School (20-7) teammates finished fifth in the Oregon 6A boys state tournament after losing to Central Catholic on March 14.
What is your favorite high school memory?
Probably the state championship we won last year at MacArthur Court. It was with such a great group of guys, a lot of whom are playing college basketball this year. That group had a lot of my best friends in it.
Why did you decide to attend UCLA?
A lot of the reason was because of their history. They win a lot, and a lot of their guys make it to the NBA. Coach Howland is a great coach, and he's a big defensive guy. I know that is a good aspect of my game. I think I can go in there and be productive.
Did you watch the 2008 U.S. Men's Olympic Team? What was your favorite moment?
Just watching Dwyane Wade, and how he came back from being hurt during the year. He came back and was just a great leader. The way he played was really inspiring.