Moe Deloach is a professional athlete who doesn’t just praise his hometown through various forms of social media.
When he is not playing basketball overseas, Deloach is embedded in Rocky Mount.
An extension of his love for the city will take form in the fourth installment of the Moe Deloach Basketball Camp at 9 a.m. Saturday at the South Rocky Mount Community Center. The camp is open to children ages 5 and up, and it is the type of event that wasn’t available for Deloach when he was an aspiring basketball player.
“This year will be bigger,” Deloach said. “We usually charge, but I got help from people, and we funded the whole thing. God has blessed me, so I want to be a blessing as well.”
Deloach, a 2004 Northern Nash graduate who went on to play for Norfolk State while earning a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, recently completed his fourth season playing overseas.
A scorer by nature, Deloach enjoyed one of his better all-around seasons for Lucca, a team in Italy’s second professional division. Deloach averaged 18 points, five rebounds and four assists in helping lead the overachieving squad to the first round of the playoffs.
“It was a good step for me,” said Deloach, who also has played in Poland and the Czech Republic. “I’ve learned the European game. I’m surrounded by a lot of shooters. There aren’t a lot of big men who pick and roll for dunks. That’s where my assists come from.”
Deloach, 27, continues to aspire toward his dream of playing in the NBA. With professional experience on his resume, Deloach hopes to play for an NBA Summer League squad. He has grown to love Italy, where he is received warmly by basketball fans.
“We are the NBA to them. That’s their professional league,” Deloach said. “Games are packed night in and night out. Italy has the best fans. It’s tough to go on the road and play because fans are ridiculous. They take it really serious.”
Deloach spent nine consecutive months overseas and jokes that he is in no rush to take any extended vacations. Instead, he’ll work on his game inside various gymnasiums, oversee and play in the Moe Deloach Summer League and spread a word that he hopes inspires local youth.
He recently spoke at the Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs of Nash/Edgecombe Counties, which he said made him feel as good as any on-court accomplishment.
Saturday, when an estimated 100 youth attend his camp, Deloach will have dished out one of his better assists of the year.
“I want to talk about the importance of education and making it no matter where you are from,” Deloach said. “Our younger generation can get into a lot of stuff, but you can make it no matter where you are from.”
Jessie H. Nunery can be reached at 407-9959 or firstname.lastname@example.org