Five-star recruit Wendell Moore Jr. talks about the NC State FBI probe
Wendell Moore Jr. is one of the top high school basketball players in the country, and he has his sights set on five colleges: N.C. State, Duke, UNC, South Carolina and Wake Forest.
The five-star, Class of 2019 small forward from Cox Mill High School in Concord, isn't in a rush to make an announcement on where he'll go, but he plans to take official visits, starting with N.C. State Aug. 31-Sept. 2, the opening weekend of college football.
Moore is convinced that although N.C. State is involved in a federal investigation into college basketball and could have potential NCAA sanctions as a result, he has nothing to worry by considering the university.
“(N.C. State coaches) tell me that all the time,” Moore said Saturday at the Josh Level Classic in Greensboro. “The situation is kind of past them because they are a new coaching staff. Obviously they have a certain (amount) of accountability because of the school itself, but the basketball program should be fine, they say.”
In April, N.C. Statewas named in a federal superseding indictment that's related to the FBI's investigation into pay-to-play college basketball schemes. According to the indictment, Jim Gatto, a former adidas executive, helped funnel $40,000 to the father of a former N.C. State basketball player, believed to be Dennis Smith Sr., in exchange for his son's commitment to the university. The money was said to be delivered to Smith Sr. by an unidentified N.C. State basketball coach, according to the indictment.
Dennis Smith Sr. and Dennis Smith Jr., a former Wolfpack guard who now plays for the Dallas Mavericks, are not named in the indictment.
Former N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried and assistant coach Orlando Early, who were both named in a January federal subpoena of N.C. State, were both heavily involved in recruiting Smith Jr. Gottfried and Early were both fired in February 2017, and Kevin Keatts was hired as head coach the following month.
Moore said hearing that from the current coaches about the situation was good enough for him.
“They cleared everything up for me, so there’s really no concerns anymore,” Moore said.
Moore, who's 6-5 and 210 pounds, is the No. 2 player in North Carolina, and averaged 25 points and 7.3 rebounds per game this past season, leading Cox Mill to a second consecutive state title in 2018. He's is also the No. 4 small forward in the nation, according to 247Sports.