Thursday, November 18, 2010


It is with a heavy heart that I report to you that former IU basketball player A.J. Moye has suffered a stroke following a head-to-head collision with a teammate during a practice in Frankfurt, Germany (where Moye plays professionally). This is awful news for the IU basketball community.

A.J. Moye might be my favorite IU basketball player of all-time, and bear in mind that I have been following IU basketball religiously for well over 20 years. I have never seen a basketball player play with more heart than A.J. Moye, and that is not an exaggeration. There were several times in his career that he was literally crying during games because he was so pumped up. He may not have been the biggest guy or the most talented player on the court, but he gave 110% every game.

The man was a 6'3" power forward who held his own with guys much bigger than he was. Ask Carlos Boozer.
Here is a link to a highlight video on YouTube, and here is another one of my favorite shots of Moye, right after he hit a three in IU's 2002 Elite 8 victory over Kent State, much to the chagrin of Kent State coach Stan Heath.
Either late spring after Moye's senior basketball season or about a year after he graduated, several of us were sitting in the old part of the upstairs of Nick's (a bar in Bloomington, which is perhaps the greatest bar in the world) playing some Sink the Biz. A.J. walked up the stairs with a couple other basketball players. Everyone stopped what they were doing, put their drinks down, stood up, and started a deafening chant of "A-J Mo-ye!" while he walked through the room with a gracious smile on his face, slapping high fives with everyone. Other IU players might have gotten a "Man, that George Leach is sure tall" or a "Hey look, it's Dane Fife. Again." But A.J. Moye gets a standing ovation. It was surreal, but it shows you how much he meant to Hoosier fans.

I'll never forget the only time I met him. I was at the Little 500 in 2003. Uter and I were getting some food at the concession stands, and we saw Moye nearby. We approached him, and Uter said, "All I gotta say is Carlos Boozer." Moye's face lit up, he slapped hands with Uter a couple times, and said, smiling, "What you know about that? What you know about that?" Uter said "Nothing." Then Moye turned to me. I had my hand out for a handshake. He grabbed it and pulled me in for a bro hug, which was a pleasant surprise. Awestruck, the only words I could muster were, "Keep on . . . keepin' on." A.J., my advice to you remains the same. You are in our thoughts and prayers, and we hope you make a speedy recovery.

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