Owen County’s Teagan Moore scores big on the court, bigger in life
By John Herndon, 110forChrist.com
OWENTON, Ky. – As he settles into a chair in his father’s office, there’s nothing about Teagan Moore to suggest he’s scored more points than almost everyone else who has ever played high school basketball in Kentucky.
The visitor knows that Moore had become the Eighth Region’s all-time leading scorer a few weeks before. He knows that Moore has signed to play collegiately at Western Kentucky University. And he knows that Moore was the main reason his Owen County Rebels were one of those teams that few wanted to run into when the season was on the line.
And I knew that Moore had twice been named the Eighth Region Player of the Year and was a finalist for Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball this year.
But when I asked Moore about his career point total, he paused before saying, “3300 something, I think.”
For the record the final tally was 3,309. It’s the most ever scored by an Eighth Region player, eclipsing the 3,233 scored by Williamstown’s Fred Hale from 1969-1973.
And according to the KHSAA.org, Moore’s career total is among the 10 best in Kentucky history. In fact, Moore’s 31.7 points per game was just ahead of Lyon County’s Travis Perry (31.6), who became the states all-time scoring leader during the State Tournament.
But talk about the Rebels team and Moore can recite the details. A 55-50 loss to Woodford County in the Eighth Region quarterfinals still stings a bit. Owen enjoyed a double-digit lead in the third quarter and still had the advantage midway through the fourth period. “That was the last high school game I will ever play,” he said. “We had them beat. We led in the fourth quarter against the team that made the state semi-finals.”
That attitude is why Teagan Moore is so respected on the basketball court. Talk to coaches around the region and the comments are nearly always complimentary. You’d hear things like, “He’s a great kid who makes those on his team better,” or “He’s the kind of player who can light anybody up for 40 points and makes Owen so dangerous.”
The individual skills are plentiful. One does not get an opportunity to play Division I basketball if they are deficient. Moore connected on 63.5 percent of his field goal attempts and 83 percent of his free throws. But with Moore, it’s about others.
He’s lived it.
“We couldn’t ask for a better role model for our younger players, my 13-year-old son has grown up with Teagan who is his hero,” says Owen County coach Devin Duvall. “Teagan’s character, integrity, work ethic are unmatched. He’s a great player but a better person.”
Teagan’s life through the fifth grade was basically his family and sports. He’d tangle with his sister, Lexie, who was a year older, in pickup basketball games in their backyard.
“It seemed like it started when he was a kid,” says Teagan’s father, Tim Moore, an assistant principal at Maurice Bowling Middle School in Owen County. “It seemed like any ball he picked up, he was kind of natural. Lexie was the same way. One was good for the other.
“It was funny when they were young, they would play in the backyard and when they thought nobody was watching, it was some of the best basketball you would ever watch. It was back and forth. But as soon as they saw that somebody was watching them, they would start arguing.”
Lexie Moore, who is the all-time leading girls’ basketball scorer at Owen County, is completing her freshman year at Anderson-Broaddus University, an NCAA Division II school near Morgantown, West Va. She worked her way into the starting lineup during her first season.
But things changed dramatically six years ago when Tim Moore and his wife, Jennifer, were able to provide foster care for boys ages 2 and 3.
“When they first came into the house, I was in the sixth grade,” Teagan says. “On the ride home from basketball practice one day, Mom told me there were some boys in the house that we have been trying to foster for about a year now. When I got home, they could barely walk. They could hardly do anything.
“For about a week, at night, they would just cry. It was just surreal. Here I was, I didn’t know these two kids, but I felt love for them and cared about them. They were a part of the family now.”
Tim Moore had been touched by the need to serve children who knew no home during the nine years he worked at Catholic Children’s Home in Fort Mitchell, Ky. “When I left work for the day, I realized that 5- and 6-year-old kids had to go back to a room,” he said.
Tim and Jennifer Moore began the process of fostering to adoption. They took in two children, then brought another home as soon as he was born. The adoption process was finalized in 2019.
“With the adoption, (Lexie and Teagan) grew up quickly. It was overnight,” Tim Moore said.
And Teagan says he began to realize how he could impact younger children, starting with his new brothers.
“It makes you mature real fast,” Teagan says. “I went from being the youngest sibling to one of the older ones. I grew up and I wanted to be a good role model for them. The youngest, he’s five. He takes after me so much. He’s a sports guy, a baseball guy. He’s just like me.”
And being a role model has become part of who Teagan Moore is now. His parents instilled an awareness that people are watching, regardless of what he does. In other words, character matters.
“It’s everything,” says Teagan, who wears WWJD and Faith Over Fear bracelets. “I am over here at the middle school (every afternoon) and little kids, they know who I am and they talk to me and stuff. Somebody’s always watching.”
That includes opposing players and fans who give Moore a backhanded compliment with their taunts. He’s come to realize it comes with being gifted in a sport that commands huge interest. “It used to upset me, until I was a sophomore,” he admits. “But I know who I am and learned there is some envy. When I realized that, it went in one ear and out the other.”
Moore, who is also a pitcher and third baseman on the Owen County baseball team, will be moving about 3 hours southwest of his home this fall when he enrolls at Western Kentucky University to study exercise science while playing for the Hilltoppers. He committed to WKU last summer but a possible bump in the road arose when Coach Rick Stansbury stepped down earlier this month.
Tim Moore says there were some concerns when Stansbury left and Steve Lutz was hired away from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. “We always had a good relationship with Coach Stansbury,” he says. “We will try to make the transition as smooth as we can and go forward.”
Teagan says he had no thoughts of asking for a release from his signing. “I committed to the school,” he says. “I liked the school as a whole.”
Moore says he hopes to have a chance to play professionally somewhere before staying in the game he loves as a coach.
But whatever path God opens for him, he says his faith will be the bedrock that guides his actions. He uses “huge” to describe the importance of faith in his life.
“He gives me my abilities. He gives me my work ethic,” he says. “He has given me a great family and great friends and a great community.”
Teagan Moore’s final numbers at Owen County High School (2018-2023)