A young Caymanian basketball player competed against a top college team on American television.
Tikko Moore suited up for The Master’s College on Monday against Michigan State University in a preseason exhibition game. The Spartans – a perennial National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I powerhouse – crushed the Mustangs, 97-56, in front of nearly 15,000 fans. The Big Ten Network Plus televised the contest at Michigan State’s Breslin Court in East Lansing, Michigan. Moore, who turned 22 in September, played only 11 minutes and registered just one rebound, missing all four of his shots from the field.
Mum Primrose Moore was ecstatic to see her son compete, saying: “I got to see my son play on national television. Wow, God is good.”
Heading into the contest, the Mustangs were heavy underdogs. The small, Christian liberal arts college – based in Santa Clarita, California – competes in the Golden State Athletic Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Master’s College missed its association tournament for a 13th straight year last season. Michigan State, meanwhile, advanced to the Elite 8 round of the NCAA tournament and is ranked 18th in the preseason Associated Press poll.
Tikko Moore, a sophomore, joined the Mustangs this summer, transferring from Simpson University in Redding, California where he competed for the Red Hawks’ junior varsity team as a college freshman. The East End native has been playing basketball in The Golden State the last four years, having competed at the high school level.
The 6-foot-5-inch, 225-pound forward racked up many accolades with the Santa Clarita Christian School Cardinals – leading the team in rebounding and blocked shots during the 2011-12 campaign, earning defensive player of the year honors his junior and senior years and the team’s Most Valuable Player award his senior year.
Next up for the Mustangs is the team’s season opener at home, against the La Sierra University Golden Eagles on Saturday. Master’s College have high expectations this season, after being picked to finish fifth in the Golden State conference in the preseason coaches’ poll. Last season, the squad posted a 19-12 overall record – including a 6-8 mark in conference play.
After signing with the Mustangs this summer, Tikko Moore said his goal was to secure a championship.
“I want to help the team win a national title and become the best player I can be,” Tikko Moore said.
Tikko Moore will be the second Caymanian playing for Master’s College. Phillip Webb, a 6-foot-8-inch, 225-pound forward, joined the Mustangs back in May after graduating from Santa Clarita Christian School. Webb is a redshirt freshman, meaning he can train with the squad but cannot play in games this season. However, Webb will have up to five years – as opposed to the typical four years – of college eligibility.