CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Sometimes success is measured by more than numbers or statistics.
There are the intangibles that do not show up in the box score, but add to the number in the "win column."
In the case of Bloom Township guard Donald Moore, his numbers don't jump off the page, but how he carries himself on the court does. Moore averaged 13.6 points, 3.8 assists, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game.
Crete-Monee point guard Michael Orris played against and lost three times to Moore and the Blazing Trojans. He said he has the ultimate in respect for the point guard.
"He does what a point guard does -- control the tempo -- like he did against us," Orris said. "We wanted to run, but he slowed the pace down. Donald was one of those who could make plays and get the job done down the stretch when it counted."
Orris' teammate LaQuon Treadwell said Moore just went out and beat you.
"He is basically a good guard," Treadwell said. "He is a humble kid, but a leader on the court. He knows how to distribute the ball and control the tempo."
Coach Jasper Williams said Moore was the glue that held the team together as the Blazing Trojans made a trip to the Class 4A semifinals, nearly upsetting three-time state champion Simeon and finishing fourth. For his outstanding season, Moore is The Times Player of the Year.
"The main thing that sticks out is he makes everyone else out there shoot easier," Williams said. "He just demands so much respect. (Lejavius) Johnson gets open looks, Johnny Griffin, instead of shooting a 10-footer, was shooting a layup.
"He made players around him better."
That is the trademark of a leader and someone who is unselfish.
Moore, despite being 5-foot-10 and 150 pounds dripping wet, refused to be intimidated or let the other team speed up the game. As for his numbers, the only disappointment is that his team did not have 30 wins -- which would have meant they won a state title.
"At the beginning of the year, coach told me I could average 25 points a game and we could win 18 games and lose in the regionals again," Moore said. "Or I could give up some numbers and we can win and maybe go to state.
"Well, I love to win, so it was not a problem for me. I am glad I don't have to score 20 a game for us to win. We have so many other great players on this team. I am not afraid to shoot, but that is not my primary job."
The Blazing Trojans were champions of the Chicago Heights Classic, the McDipper and the Southland Athletic Conference. Moore was the McDipper's most valuable player in leading Bloom past Crete. His teammates carried him off the court at Rich South following the title game.
Johnson said Moore was always up and ready to play, and it rubbed off on him and his teammates.
"Donald was a leader and we knew he would get everyone involved in the game," Johnson said. "He ran the show and made sure he did what was necessary for us to win."
One turning point was winning the Chicago Heights Classic as Bloom beat Hillcrest and then Homewood-Flossmoor in the championship. Moore had 25 points in the double-overtime win over the Vikings.
"That was big for us because we proved we could beat those two top teams," Moore said. "That showed we belonged."
Moore attended H-F as a freshman, then transferred to Bloom. His first big game was making some free throws to close out a win at Thornwood.
"I remember I was a little scared, but I made those free throws," Moore said. "I was a sophomore and it was the difference."
If Moore has anything left to prove, it is that he can play at the next level. He got a good score on his ACT in December.
"I think I can play at a MAC (Mid-American Conference) school and fit in," Moore said. "I think I can play at that level. I know I can play somewhere."
~! Ken Karrson contributed to this story.