As the 2018 Nike EYBL Peach Jam was moments from tipping off Wednesday, a prominent face to South Carolina basketball fans was fully settled into a courtside seat. Frank Martin’s phone was in his hand, but his eyes were on a prized recruit near the center circle.
The USC head coach, with assistant Bruce Shingler to his left, was watching Wendell Moore. The five-star prospect from Concord, North Carolina, is here competing with his AAU team, CP3. He’ll be in Columbia on the weekend of Sept. 8 for an official visit with the Gamecocks.
The timing of the trip, of course, means he’ll likely be at Williams-Brice Stadium for South Carolina’s football showdown with Georgia.
“They said it’s going to be a big game for them,” Moore said Thursday, “so I said, ‘Why not?’”
Moore is a 6-foot-6 guard who has totaled 21 points, five assists and seven rebounds through two games here. Martin and Shingler watched again Thursday morning as CP3 rolled NY Renaissance, 70-56. The sideline was also filled by the likes of Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Wake Forest’s Danny Manning and N.C. State’s Kevin Keatts.
Moore is scheduled to visit his five finalists in the coming months. He plans to be in Raleigh on Sept. 1, then Columbia, then Durham on Sept. 22, Winston-Salem on Sept. 29 and, as he revealed to reporters Friday, Chapel Hill on Oct. 12-14.
As for when a final decision could come?
“I’m going to take my time with it,” Moore said. “If I’m able to get it early fall, before high school season, it’s possible. ... Definitely before high school (season) is over.”
Moore, representing the United States, was part of the gold medal team at the under-17 FIBA World Cup in Argentina. Martin was there, too.
“Duke, South Carolina,” Moore said. “I think that might be all I saw.”
Martin and assistant Perry Clark watched Moore in December during the Chick-fil-A Classic in Columbia.
“Just that I can come in right away, be that kind of player I am right now,” Moore said.
The Gamecocks, in Harstville’s Trae Hannibal, have one member in their 2019 recruiting class.