E'Twaun Moore defends

Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen is defended by rookie E'Twaun Moore, an E.C. Central grad, during practice earlier this season

Steven Senne, File | Associated Press

E'Twaun Moore isn't marketing a new line of basketball shoes. He isn't polishing his star for some big-money NBA endorsements.

Not when you're a low second-round draft pick of the Boston Celtics and have played sparingly this season.

What E'Twaun Donte Moore will be doing with his first basketball camp June 29-30 comes from the heart. It's having a conscience and remembering your roots.

"It's a good way to connect with the kids, give 'em something fun to do and try to share my life experiences with them," Moore said.

The fourth- through ninth-graders who participate will meet a professional athlete, learn fundamentals, the value of an education, the dangers of gangs and drugs and — most important — how to get along with others.

That's covering a lot of ground and well worth the time.

E'Twaun Moore has been there, done that, at E.C. Central, then Purdue, and now in the NBA where players' lives on and off the court are an open book.

East Chicago was a dangerous place to grow up for Moore, brother Ezell and sister Ekeisha. It still is. But parents who cared, enforced curfews and stressed academics, helped keep them out of harm's way.

Moore hopes to inspire his campers as well.

"There's a lot to life and they can do anything they want," he said. "Basketball can often be a tool but it doesn't have to be only basketball. The camp can give them insight to a better future."

True hoop fans who follow Moore's playing career know he was a solid student at West Lafayette, much to the delight of coach Matt Painter and his staff.

Yes, a street-tough kid from EC is capable of big things.

"It can be difficult," Moore said of growing up there. "So it's great to have an outside influence to give them some wisdom, some advice, to make the right decisions."

Older brother Ezell believes this camp is the perfect vehicle for reaching kids in a struggling city once made famous by steel and oil.

"Everybody knows you, you've got a lot of family and friends, so to stay humble and not forget where you came from is really important," Ezell said.

He's the same E'Twaun Moore, too. A very private person. Quiet. Still shy around strangers and snoopy media. Don't you just love that consistency?

"In talking with his financial advisor, (E'Twaun) has it. He's mature. He gets it," Ezell Moore said. "I have to be honest, I am surprised he's stayed himself."

All the more reason to take a bow.

This is a young professional athlete who doesn't need six cars, a mansion or two, jewelry that blinds you and a posse that literally trips over itself.

"He bought a car and that's about it," Ezell said. "He has a one-year deal with an option for a second year, so he's been wise with his resources. It's not all guaranteed."

Nothing in life is, as those young campers will learn.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com


Sports copy editor

Jim is a copy editor for The Times who works out of Valparaiso. A South Central High School (1984) and Ball State ('89) grad, he’s covered preps most of his career. He received the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association’s Media Award in 1997.