6-foot-8 forward prospect Braeden Moore commits to BYU
Mark Pope has done it again.
The recruiting magician pulled another rabbit out his hat Friday, signing three star forward prospect Braeden Moore as part of the 2022 recruiting class for BYU men’s basketball.
Moore — a 6-foot-8, 210 pound wing/stretch forward — originally committed to Rutgers before decommitting and choosing BYU over the likes of blue blood caliber programs such as Kansas, Auburn and Wisconsin. While not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Moore is a devout Christian and was attracted to the religious background and standards at BYU.
“BYU checks so many of the boxes that I wanted,” Moore told The Daily Universe. “It made the most sense and was a no-brainer. The value system is so aligned with mine.”
Raised in California before moving to the Nashville area, Moore averaged 18.5 points and 8 rebounds per game as a junior at Christ Presbyterian Academy while shooting 37% from behind the arc.
As a senior, Moore transferred to Donda Academy — a prep school founded by rapper and pop culture icon Kanye West — where he graced the cover of SLAM magazine with West and the rest of his teammates. At Donda, Moore rubbed shoulders with rappers such as DaBaby and Moneybagg Yo, NBA players such as Lonzo Ball and Danny Green and was even coached in practice on occasion by former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas.
Moore was initially recruited by former BYU assistant Chris Burgess in his junior year before reconnecting with BYU at the end of the Donda season in March. BYU assistant Nick Robinson visited the Moore household three weeks ago, and the family visited Provo for an official recruiting visit last week.
“Provo is just beautiful.. the facilities here are unbelievable,” Moore said.
Along with Pope and his staff, former Cougars Alex Barcello and Yoeli Childs accompanied Moore on his BYU visit, along with current Cougar big man Fouss Traore. Since announcing his commitment to BYU, Moore said he has also been texting with fellow recent transfer acquisition Rudi Williams.
“Coach Pope is amazing, we have a really great relationship,” Moore said. “He talked to my parents for 30 minutes by himself the other night, and that’s the kind of coach I want to play for. We click very well, and I’m the type of guy that wants to have a good relationship with my coach, so it’s perfect.”
BYU’s excellent academic reputation was another major factor in Moore’s decision to sign, as he “valued being able to get a good degree” and plans to major in business. The Moores are plenty familiar with BYU, as Braeden “knows all about” Jimmer Fredette and noted that his father grew up in southern California with LDS friends who played football at BYU.
Moore will settle in Provo for good in mid June, adding another legitimate shooting threat to BYU’s roster along with size and length on the wing that the Cougars lost following the recent departures of Caleb Lohner and Seneca Knight.
“(The coaches) want to make me a true power forward that can pull the ball out and become a big decision maker, and they want to really utilize my shooting ability and get me down low for some post touches,” Moore said.
While BYU’s upcoming move to the Big 12 excites Moore, he said that conference affiliation wasn’t a make-or-break component in choosing BYU.
“For me, I would have gone to BYU whether they were in the WCC or Big 12,” Moore said. “The conference wasn’t a deciding factor, because either way BYU will make the tournament almost every year.”
Having met a number of celebrities at Donda, Moore said there may be one in particular who could join the Marriott Center festivities this coming season. “I was told that Kanye might show up.. to a BYU game.”
Moore’s signing leaves BYU with two remaining scholarship openings for the coming season, allowing Pope and company some flexibility to address roster needs through the transfer portal to continue the process of building a Big 12 program.
For Moore, who has already been “feeling the love” from fans since his signing announcement, the sharpshooter is ready to contribute immediately in 2022 and take advantage of his opportunity in Provo.
“For fitting all of my values and playing at a top 25 program, it’s amazing,” Moore said. “Being around great people that don’t mess around and are serious about their faith.. there’s something great about that.”