Moore expecting Jimtown to quickly feel like home

He used to visit friend Kyle Johnson in Baugo, and says he grew up in a community with a similar mindset in Columbia City.

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 5:25 p.m.

JIMTOWN — Being both competitive and family-oriented, Marcus Moore appreciates that he grew up a twin.

“Scott and I never stopped playing,” the new Jimtown boys basketball coach said Tuesday, July 29. “One of us would win at whatever game we were playing and then the other one would call ‘rematch,’ and that rematch would turn into another, and that would turn into four or five hours.”

As it so happens, Moore believes that in Jimtown he’s sort of found another twin — one to his native Columbia City.

He first started to become familiar with the Baugo community when he would visit Jimtown-grown Kyle Johnson here while both were basketball standouts at Grace College.

“Jimtown feels a lot like Columbia City,” Moore said. “Kids grow up playing sports on the sandlot. We didn’t have cars or movie theaters, but we had basketball and baseball and football. I think both communities value the importance of athletics. Every time I ever visited Kyle, I felt at home.”

Moore, 29, was approved as Jimmie coach and as a Jimtown teacher Monday night. He said by phone Tuesday that he’s “anxious” to arrive at the school next Monday, meet some of his potential players and begin communicating with fellow teachers.

Doing so has to wait only because Moore is in the midst of a long-planned family vacation cruise off the coast of Florida and into Mexico. The cruise ends Friday.

“Obviously, I’m excited, and when (Jimtown principal Jeff Ziegler) called me to offer me the job, it was a no-brainer,” Moore said. “I think I accepted faster than he offered.”

Moore is single. Besides Scott, a Grace College assistant, he has two older siblings in Matt — who was just named Kokomo High head coach six weeks ago — and Nicole.

“We’re a family of basketball junkies,” Moore said, not that he hasn’t enjoyed other sports as well.

He played tennis in both high school and college, and adds that “one of the things I most regret is that I didn’t play baseball in high school. On the other hand, I was already traveling at that time with AAU basketball.”

Moore said he perceives that different sports at Jimtown coexist in much the same manner that they did for him at Columbia City.

“Obviously, growing up, what I knew about Jimtown was that they had really good football every year,” Moore recalled, adding that he felt privileged when Johnson and his father, Gene, introduced him to Jimmie football coaching giant Bill Sharpe several years ago. “But beyond their football being good, as I got to know Kyle, I could tell there was a brotherhood across the different athletic teams, like Columbia City.”

Moore added that “one thing I do know for sure is that I’ll have tough kids” at Jimtown. “They’ve had that for 30 years, and that’s good, because that will be expected. We’ll defend with toughness.”

Between high school, college and a year of pro ball in Australia, Moore has experienced both patient and quick paces on offense.

“Our style will depend on the kids we have,” Moore said. “I’ve been around so many coaches and have pulled pieces from them to kind of make my own. The biggest thing I always want to be is adaptable to the kids we have. It depends on (the strengths of) our players, but I don’t mind getting up and down the floor, and I don’t mind not.”

Moore’s first high school head coaching assignment comes on the heels of five seasons as a high school assistant, the first four of those at his alma mater and last season at Huntington North.


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