Kendal Moore is already a college student. She’s enrolled at summer school at N.C. State is attending summer school classes and has worked out with her new team.
But the Pine Forest graduate didn’t pass up the opportunity this week to play one more high school game before fully embarking on her college basketball career. Monday night in the East vs. West all-star game at the Greensboro Coliseum, Moore scored 17 points in 23 minutes to help lead the East to an 81-78 victory.
Moore, a 5-6 point guard from Pine Forest High School in Fayetteville, started for the East, and came out on fire, scoring 13 points in the first half, shooting 5-of-8 from the floor and 2-for-4 from three. Moore closed out her prep career with a win and will start her college career having to work for playing time on a loaded 2019-20 N.C. State women’s squad that went 28-6 in 2018-19 and advanced to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 before falling to Iowa in the same building where Moore played Monday night.
Moore is one in a trio of freshmen -- that includes forwards Jada Boyd and Jakia Brown-Turner -- who have already enrolled at N.C. State. On Monday in the East-West game, Moore looked college ready as she put her full arsenal on display with drives to the basket and an accurate shot from three. In her prep career at Pine Forest Moore scored more than 3,000 points and was named All-State after averaging 24.6 points per game and dishing out 4.5 assists.
Before the East-West game, Wolfpack coach Wes Moore had one simple message for her.
“He was just like represent, make us proud,” Moore told The News & Observer. “Stuff like that.”
During her short time at N.C. State so far, Moore has had the chance to learn from senior guard Aislinn Konig, who split most of the ball handling duties last season with Kiara Leslie, a guard who now plays for the Washington Mystics of the WNBA. Konig, along with junior guard Kai Crutchfield can each play both back court positions, but minutes for Moore might be available to spell, or play alongside, the veteran guards.
“I’ve gotten to practice with the other guards and get in the flow of playing with ACC guards,” Moore said. “It’s been cool, I kind of fit into the flow.”
Moore said the biggest adjustment so far has been playing against bigger and stronger guards. She’s been hitting the weight room with her N.C. State teammates, and said she could already tell a difference at moments in Monday’s game. She says felt quicker and stronger, getting into the lane for three rebounds - all defensive - and getting one steal.
“I feel like I’ve gotten better on defense,” Moore said.
Injuries hit N.C. State last season, and a year that started with a 22-game win streak, ended in the Sweet 16. Moore followed the Wolfpack last year and is ready to come in and help build on what coach Wes Moore has built.
“I want to be able to knock down open shots,” Moore said. “My role will be to take care of the ball and make the right plays.”