Thursday, July 28, 2011

The re-emergence of Aalim Moor III

 Aalim Moor III contemplating his future
photo credit: M.E. Lampkin Media Services, LLC

Guards Adrian Oliver and Justin Graham have departed San Jose State University after each was on the court for 35 minutes a game during their respective tenures, Therefore, backcourt playing time is available to be earned by Spartan junior Aalim Moor III.

In that context --  called upon to enter 17 games last season for 61 minutes of playing time, producing 5-10 from the floor and eights assists to a single turnover -- some would have soured on college hoops and folded by now.

Not Moor.

He has chosen to dig deeper.

Leaving nothing to chance, he is demanding more of himself.

This display of perseverance and ultimately self-confidence boils down to a personal re-routing in order to achieve his goals.

One day found him on the beach in Alameda but not necessarily enjoying the sights. It was dragging his trainer Marqus Coleman to and fro on the sand via work-out bands strapped to the body. And did we mention this was during a rain storm with water coursing out of the sky making everything -- the sand, the equipment, the participants -- heavier. The next workout location was all those steep stairs at Lake Merritt. Another time found him whizzing around the Merritt College track as the temperature hovered in the 90s.

These efforts took place week in and week out, with predetermined goals and times to achieve.

Working on basketball skills training followed ninety-minute sessions of either efforts on the beach or at the track. The days were capped with evening weight training sessions.

Here's the actual compilation of numbers for Moor this summer:

* Rope reps - 14,300
* Shots in the gym - 3,492
* Sprinted - 14.5 miles
* Jogged - 9.3 miles
* Lifted hundreds of pounds of weights daily

Upon returning to Spartan workouts this summer, after finishing up the month-long training with Coleman and Anthony Eggleton, Moor just completed a mile run with the top time on the team of 5:56, bettering his previous best of 6:13.

So let's pose some questions:

Q - AO and JG are gone -- your thoughts on what they brought to the  court and team and your connection to each?
AM: Leadership above all! They were unequivocally our leaders and I think having to replace that will be a bigger challenge than their production on the court. I look up to both as sort of big brothers and appreciate all the advice they give me...even now.

AO and I have been talking a lot throughout his whole process of NBA workouts. He has really given me great advice and sound pointers on how I should approach going into next year.

Q - Your playing time has been minimal so far yet your demeanor  during games is one of bringing positivity (congratulatory words and actions) to your teammates. How have you maintained this attitude?
AM: By trying to understand that even though I'm not on the court, I can still have a real impact on the game by being vocal and sharing my view of what I see going on out there. Also patience is something that has helped me greatly.
Q - You devised a plan for yourself and your game this summer -- tell readers why and what it consists of?
AM: My motivation this summer was to re-capture my confidence and swagger about my game. Considering that I haven't really played as much in the past two years as I did in the previous four, I felt it was important to go back there in my mind, in order to go forward now in real time.
My plan was a very basic two-step approach:
1- Basketball skill work; work on every aspect of my game. And refine and improve on each piece.
2- Strength and Conditioning; "GET IN THE BEST SHAPE HUMANLY POSSIBLE!"

I'm ready!

 a moment of relaxation for Moor
photo credit: M.E. Lampkin Media Services, LLC  

Q - With your routine, what do you tell yourself in order to keep grinding away when fatigue is yelling at you to stop?
AM: I ask myself, Do you really want this? Are you even really a hooper? I think of everything anyone has said to me or about me that was demeaning and I push through all the pain and get it done. That's my drives me! 
Q - There is no returning starter at the point for San Jose State  University -- who fills the spot?
AM: Who ever wants it. And "I WANT IT!"

Q - Why Marqus Coleman and Anthony Eggleton as your workout trainers? What does each bring?

AM: I've known Marcus for 14 years and I'm 20 now to put it in perspective. He would always tell me he wanted to work with me, so I decided this year was the year and I'm glad I made that move. He has helped me to change my whole mind set and approach to the game and to life.

Coach Ant and I have a long history. He has worked with me before and literally pushed me over the hump to become a D1 athlete. I owe him more than I can count! 

Q - Recalling yourself as a freshman at SJSU as compared to the  present -- who are you know, what is different for you and why?

AM: I'm a lot more mature! I have responsibilities now that I did not have before. I have an apartment, with bills. I'm beginning my major classes and understand what college is really about. Where as a freshman, I was wide-eyed and a bit wild, just looking to have fun.

Q - Two years into college and working towards a degree in communications, what academic advice can you offer to high school seniors soon to make that transition?

AM: Make sure you have your priorities in order! Parties and all that will always be there. Take care of school first!!

Q - Any idea if you want to down the road go into coaching basketball at some level? Yes or no, can you explain why.

AM: It's possible. I think I have a lot more information to gain, but I would love an opportunity to give back and help younger generations be successful.

Q - Jason Kidd won an NBA championship this season -- can you tell  readers about your connections with him?

AM: We both grew up in Oakland. J. Kidd and I went to the same elementary school (St. Paschal Baylon) in Oakland. I think the biggest connection to him that I have is our style of play. I always admired his game. He has always been a pass first point guard, looking to set the table for other guys. He's always been a player I've looked up to and emulated.

Q - You met new Golden State Warrior Coach Mark Jackson years ago at a Double Pump Camp where you were one of the top campers. What was your impression of him and do you recall what he passed on to you?

AM: Mark Jackson was and is a great man and he is a great pickup for the Warriors as a Head Coach. My Dad introduced me to him after a game I was playing. He watched me play and complimented me on my game and told me that "in order to get where I want, hard work isn't enough you have to really believe in yourself and your ability". I never forgot that!

Q - You work in the summers for the Golden State Warriors -- what are your duties and how many years have you been doing this?

AM: I'm a coach at the camps. I help the kids work on the basics of the game and try to pass on what knowledge I have on to them, it's a lot of fun. I've been working the camps for about three years now. I really enjoy working with the Warriors. They are a first class organization and do a lot for our community. I'll keep coming back each year if they'll have me.

Aalim also added this: "Shout out to Kelvin Potts (KP) who I am working out with now for my ball handling and overall PG skills. I've known him all my life and I'm glad to have him as someone I work out with also."

 Moor surrounded by Coleman (l) and Eggleton (r)
photo credit: M.E. Lampkin Media Services, LLC

Telegraph Avenue-based Anthony "Ant" Eggleton, of Ant's Mind and Body, is a longtime resident of the East Bay, an Oakland Fremont High graduate and a trainer extraordinaire who does things differently than most folks in his field. It's not that he is looking to be a contrarian at all -- it's because he views training for gain to be a holistic effort, a congruency of mind and body.

Eggleton's plans of action include working on body mechanics to achieve multiple goals and results: greater balance and flexibility, quicker reactions to stimuli, improved strength and lateral movement quickness, plus quicker and more controlled directional changes.

That is the usual.

What's not is this: "We also work to turn on the centers of will," with the intent of leading to higher level performance, greater mental enhancement and quicker physical rejuvenation.

San Jose State Spartan Aalim Moor has long utilized this dual Eggleton approach but his time was limited since beginning college at SJSU.

Not this summer as the two have teamed up once again.

"I've known Aalim since the sixth grade and the work he has put in is paying dividends," Eggleton offered. "His athleticism has improved by leaps and bounds."

As evidence, Moor just completed a mile run with the top time on the team of 5:56, bettering his previous best of 6:13.

As Eggleton put it, look for the same name to be on the roster but it will be a different Moor on the floor this season: "I think fans will be more than pleasantly surprised," no pun intended.

Eggleton continued, "Aalim had a different focus [than before]. He has always been driven but it was a bit more now, going to a different level.

There were other differences, too.

"He has gone from a kid to an impressive young man, evolving emotionally and physically," Eggleton added. "We were able to train more aggressively and physically. His mind and body were really into it."

Moor celebrating beating Coleman on his fifth time up a training hill
photo credit: M.E. Lampkin Media Services, LLC

Marqus Coleman runs the Coleman Elite Boot Camp and worked out Moor this summer. Here's a Q-and-A with Coleman:

Q - Why are you in the profession you have chosen?

MC: I have always had a passion for teaching the game of basketball. I was taught from a young age to play the game the right way and I want to pass that on. I started my first coaching job as a 10th grader in high school and I think my passion grew from that point on.

Q - What is your core training philosophy?

MC: My training philosophy is broken up into four parts:

1. To begin with, my goal is to teach the athlete how to work out. Most athletes work out on their own, but either they don't have a good work ethic, or they don't know how to push their workouts to the next level consistently, each time they step on the floor.

2. My idea is to get the athlete in complete shape, for the duration of their play. In other words, I believe an athlete should be able to stay fresh from start to finish, offense and defense. Being able to compete for that amount of time, without having to clutter your mind with thoughts of fatigue and wanted rest, allows you space to strengthen and master your mental game. Most athletes struggle with this, and can only consistently play their best, 40-60% of the game.

3. Predicated on my Philosophy of: 2-6-2

I believe in teaching basketball skills 2 seconds at a time. Ideally the moves you make on the basketball court only happen in a 2 to 3 second time period. The 6 represents the 6 inches your base or the lower half of your body can be effective in your moves on the floor. If your feet are more than 6 inches from your body you become ineffective as a basketball player, losing your strength and balance. Finally, the the second 2 represents the 2 feet of space created from the first tow points. If you can be successful in making a move in 2 seconds and explosive in 6 inches of space, you can create 2 feet of space, giving you room to pass or score with vision.

4. The final piece to my philosophy consists of three things: I want to emphasize the athletes explosiveness, speed and agility and consistency. If a player can accomplish these three key factors to the game, they can be unstoppable. Confidence will be sparked as well.

Q - If it does, how does your training differ from that of others?

MC: I think I differ from others in my thought about my athletes. I am the trainer, which means I work for the athlete, not the other way around. I structure the training around the athlete and make sure he or she always feels they are better than they were the day before. I would often remind people that as a player its about you, this is your choice to do this and I am not forcing you to do this. However if this is what you want to do then we have to make progress together because I am only as good as you. My training principles are simple, yet the workout is unorthodox. I do the training that everyone talks about doing, but never does. I use the gym to refine skill sets and perfect what the athlete already knows. One major difference is that I always teach in pressure situations, its more realistic and forces the athlete to think.

Q - Are there any client names from the past or present you can share?

MC: I don't believe that the success of the athlete is mine to claim. At the end of the day, the athletes are the ones working, I instruct. Over the years I've worked with many successful athletes primarily in NorCal, but also across the country. To me it does not matter what your name is, I don't affiliate with names. When it's time to work, we work regardless of who you are.

Q - What can you share regarding your experience working as a trainer and basketball skills instructor for the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Developmental League?

MC: Working with the Jam has been a great opportunity for me for the last 2 years and anticipation of my 3rd year in a few weeks. Coach [Will] Voight has been a great mentor and professional in allowing me to work with some of the great players trying to get to that next level. The environment is fast paced, you have to be a clear in your teaching and mistakes are not high in the workouts because these guys take the game serious at that level. I must say that I have learned a lot from Coach Voight over these last few years, but most of all he really cares. This is the part of the professional level that you may think doesn't exist but he has taught me patience with players and the importance of treating every opportunity as an interview.

Q - How did working with Aalim come about?

MC: Since he was six years old, Aalim and I have always had a close relationship. I have supported him through his years of growing and always gave my input when I had the chance. I always wanted to train him as he got into his high school years because I felt like he didn't know the potential he really had. He is a guy that would give up his game for others to shine but I felt he needed to be something different this time. He needed something this summer that will force him to face his self and to build his image of self to himself. He called me on the phone and he said, I need a quicker, first step, explosiveness and work on my shot. My response was an immediate yes I can get that done. We decided from day one the work is about him, this process is about him, everyday he wanted to be better than yesterday.

Q - Please describe what it was like working with Aalim?

MC: I greatly enjoy working with athletes who carry enthusiasm the way Aalim does. Aalim is eager and hungry to learn and get better, he is his own biggest critic, and during training tunes in with me. Our workouts were filled with communication and understanding, without the need for words. Aalim is an example of an athlete striving for success and putting in the work to get there.

Q - Can you offer any projections regarding Aalim next year at San Jose State University?

MC: Aalim's impressive work ethic will put him on another level this year, making him a "never before seen Aalim". I believe he will be an impact player and an excellent leader. If Aalim is given an opportunity to start, I believe he will be able to maintain that spot and it will be hard to take it from him.


  1. Coach Coleman is an amazing educator of the game. His training techniques are unique and effective. More importantly, he doesn't show you how to play, he teaches. He encourages his athletes to ask questions when they are confused, which personally, worked wonders for my game. WORKOUTS ARE NEVER EASY BUT ALWAYS FUN AND REWARDING!!!!! Coach Coleman will teach u what it takes to be a great individual, at the same time a great athlete as well. His push and instruction encouraged me to work hard even when no one was watching! ASK HIM AS MANY QUESTIONS AS YOU CAN. HE KNOWS THE GAME. HIS BASKETBALL IQ IS @ 1,000,000 and he will get your Hoop IQ solid and your physical!

    And Ant,!!! Beast of a trainer!!

    I've had the honor and privilege to be taught by both!

    This Aalim kid gon b nice, I'm sure he is already, but boi o boi!

    Peter Best

  2. WOW! It's clear this guy wants it and has got next! Dedication pays off, best of luck. See you in the big leagues!

  3. This is an outstanding piece! Shows the depths of Bay Area Sports and the athletes that particpate in them. Very nice representation of Oakland which seems to always be in the news for the negative aspects of the city.

  4. Moore is a very talented and motivated young man. I have gotten the chance to see him in action while at a one-on-one training with coach Coleman at Laney College! Go Eagles! Seeing his dedication and passion for the game has influenced me to take mine to the next level. To Moore, coach Coleman and family, I wish you all the best of luck in this journey.

  5. This piece is very inspiring it makes me want to push myself harder for my upcoming season, even though I’m at a junior college at this time. I know that if I keep pushing at it I can make to that D1 or that D2 that I want to. This piece open my eyes in so many different ways it should me that heart, and dedication can only take you so far, but if you add in the right mind set then you’ll be unstoppable.