I’m telling you, whatever is in the soil in Goodwater, Alabama, the bumper crop is basketball players.
Let me explain.
Jamario Moon played three seasons with the Albany Patroons (2005-2007, 2018). He also went from the Patroons to a very long and successful career in the NBA, playing for the Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers and Charlotte Bobcats. The man can tell his grandchildren that he played as an NBA teammate of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Blake Griffin and Shaquille O’Neal – that’s a damn fine storyline. Oh yeah, and J-Moon is also a champion in the BIG3 tournament. Make sure you acknowledge.
Well, Jamario’s nephew Xavier Moon also played with the Albany Patroons, suiting up for the 2018 NAPB season. X was named the league’s Rookie of the Year, and he became a quick fan favorite. Xavier would later take his talents to Canada, where he starred for two seasons with the NBL’s London Lightning (becoming a 50-40-90 man, averaging 50% field goals, 40% three-pointers, and 90% free throws). In other words, put the ball in his hands, and he could sink a shot from the concession stand.
When the NBL isn’t in season, Xavier stays in Canada, suiting up for the Edmonton Stingers of the CEBL’s Edmonton Stingers. This year, because of COVID-19, the CEBL compressed their summer season into a tournament. The final game, between the Stingers and the Fraser Valley Bandits, was an exciting affair.
But this is the instance where Xavier Moon put the team on his shoulders and scored like crazy. In the Stingers’ 90-73 championship, Moon scored 31 points, pulled down 5 rebounds and had three steals. Oh yeah, and he sank the final free throws in the game’s “Elam Ending” to win the Championship Finals MVP accolade.
Oh, and for those who are wondering what an “Elam Ending” is, with a few minutes left in the game, the first team to get to an arbitrary score wins.
But suffice it to say, Xavier Moon is now a champion.
And if he’s looking for his old Patroons jersey …
His road #4 is in my personal collection. Right next to his uncle’s #33 from the 2005-06 season.
Congrats, my man. Gold and kelly green, the mark of champions, no matter what league you dominate.