23 year old, American power forward, Nick Moore, only arrived on British soil on Friday morning, yet was included in Bradford’s travelling squad for the visit to Middlesbrough, only twenty-four hours later.
Moore, who stands at 6’5”, comes to the Dragons from Nyack College, New York, where he finished an impressive two year career with 761 points, 392 rebounds and 69 blocks, as well as being crowned MVP for last season. He also earned two consecutive call-ups for the CACC All-Conference team.
Moore started his Dragons career from the bench, in Middlesbrough’s new £15M Sports Village, but soon joined the action, early in the first quarter. Bradford started the game strongly, ending the first period of play with an 8 point advantage (18-26) and, although the host team applied pressure in the second quarter, the Dragons returned to the locker room ahead, at 37-42.
But, it was the home side that came back to court the strongest and, by the end of the penultimate period of play, it was them that held the advantage, with the scores at 60-56. Into the final quarter, the Mohawks continued to stretch their lead and with only five minutes of play remaining, the Dragons looked dead and buried, trailing by 12 points.
But, Mellor’s team refused to give in and stepped things up for those final five minutes. Some great offensive work, including a couple of big three pointers and a good defensive effort, saw the scores levelled at 73 apiece with only 2:14 remaining on the clock. The Dragons ended the game with a five point victory, 76-81.
Moore marked his Dragons debut with an impressive 36 point tally to top the scoring chart. Fellow new signings Adria Rodriguez Vinas and Henri Bongoma also contributed 18 points each to the Dragons total.
Reflecting on his team’s performance, Mellor commented, “We started well and overall played a decent first half. They were hurting us with offensive rebounds and that was our main focus after the restart. They (Mohawks) played well in the third and, to be honest, we were going nowhere fast, down by 12 points with five minutes remaining. But, we managed to put together a succession of stops to pull it out of the fire. Nick (Moore) did a great job for us. He gave us a quiet 36 points and 10 rebounds. He didn’t force anything and played within what we are trying to do as a team. He is a big asset to us.”
Next weekend, the Dragons have their first home game of the season, hosting Team Northumbria, in another National Trophy game, at Bradford College Sports Hall (Trinity Green) on Saturday. Doors open at 5:30pm with tip-off at 6:15pm. Advance tickets are available!
The following day, Bradford travel to the Amaechi Basketball Centre in Manchester, to face Manchester Magic in the National Cup, second round. Tip-off in Manchester is at 5pm.
In other news, the Dragons under 18’s travelled to Durham Wildcats for a Saturday lunchtime tip-off in Basketball England’s North East Development League, returning home with the victory, at 62-65.