Moore gets his turn: Yes, Temple

Posted: January 10, 2007

Ramone Moore is the soft-spoken and unassuming type.

So much so that when it came time for the Southern senior to announce his college destination, he let three others spill it.

Of course, the news that Moore, a versatile 6-foot-4 guard, was headed to Temple already had leaked. But yesterday's news conference was his big moment.

It also happened to be a big moment and a source of pride for the once-prestigious Southern program, the school itself, and the School District of Philadelphia.

Before Moore donned the obligatory Owls cap, his principal, Alice Heller, spoke of how Moore "gets it" on and off the basketball court. Oh, and it was nice that he was signing with her undergraduate alma mater.

Then District 12 chairman Robert Coleman explained how Moore "could have gone anywhere, but he chose Temple." And finally, Southern coach George Anderson noted that this sort of announcement was the first during his 14-year tenure.

Even though his daughter went to Temple, Anderson said he had no allegiance to any college. As he tells his players, "Just go to college."

By the time Moore hit the stand, there was almost nothing left to say. But he did state the obvious - "I will be attending Temple," - to the delight of his Rams teammates.

Moore also explained his reason for choosing the Owls over Nebraska, which came in a close second.

"At first, I wanted to go away," Moore said, "but the school that wanted me was too far."

Moore also said he hoped to enrich the Philadelphia tradition of staying close to home for college. Two of Southern's greatest stayed in the city - Nate Blackwell, a close friend to the Moore family, went to Temple, and Lionel Simmons went to La Salle.

Moore could have gone almost anywhere as an eighth grader and even attended the former Bishop Neumann for a day, but the sleek and smooth hoopster remained loyal to Southern, which his father, Ramone Sr., and other relatives attended.

Moore felt a similar affinity for Temple, especially after meeting coach Fran Dunphy, who started courting Moore during a summer AAU tournament.

"I not only know what kind of coach he's going to be," Moore said, "but he's going to help turn me into a man."

Dunphy already has given three scholarships for his next recruiting class, so there's an issue of whether there will be another for Moore next year. But Moore said he will do a year of prep school - to shore up his grades and his physique - or redshirt if that's the case.

"I'm going to Temple no matter what," he said.

Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or jmclane@phillynews.com.

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