The Ultimate athlete is a student who trains hard and is committed to excellence, on and off the field. Their work ethic, dedication, determination, and mental toughness is what makes these athletes truly exceptional. Each week the Country Herald will support these incredible student-athletes in our series, The Ultimate.
This week’s Ultimate is Jason Moore, a sophomore at Kankakee High School. Jason plays JV basketball and Varsity baseball. When described by his basketball coach, Alan Ford, he said, “Jason puts in work both on the court and off. He has a GPA over 3 and was one of the leading scorers on the freshman team in basketball last season.”
“If we had 10 of him, we could possibly go undefeated. He makes a coach feel good about coming to practice because he does everything the coach asks of him. Off the court he is manurable and the type of kid a man would be ok with his daughter talking to.”
Jason, who would you say are the heroes in your life?
My mom!!! My mom supports me through anything she is my rock and number one fan.
What do you admire about your mom?
She gives up so much of her own free time, vacation time, money etc. to always cheer my brother and I on.
When did you first get involved in sports?
When I was seven I started playing both T-ball for [my] local park district, and basketball for our YMCA. I started travel ball at the age 12.
What would you say your future aspirations are for after high school?
My goal and hope is to get a scholarship to a D1 school.
Since you play multiple sports, do you know which one you would like to play in college?
I’m not sold on which sport I want to play in college, but I have some time.
Do you have a plan in place to fulfill your goals of playing for a D1 school after high school?
My mom would say I’m going where I get the better education and I’ll agree with her as long as they have sports!
In your sports career so far, have you had any nail-biting incidents that have had a happy ending?
If you’ve ever watched a travel baseball game, you know that a lot of them can be nail-biting. It’s always good when you can come out on top. One that sticks out is Nashville 2018. My team and I rallied back for a 2nd place finish after playing 7 games in 36 hours in 100-degree temps. We didn’t win but we showed a lot of heart and teamwork and sometimes that’s a win in its self.
Have you had any serious injuries in your sports career?
That’s a funny question. I always seem to injure myself at the beginning of the season whether it be basketball or baseball. I’ve had two broken bones in my ankle. I’ve had a broken wrist. I’ve rolled my ankle a time or two and I’m currently dealing with a tight shoulder.
How did you deal with your injuries and over come the obstacle of being injured?
You just got to learn how to deal with the injury. How to not rush healing and rest. Rest is key.
Would you say it’s difficult for you to balance sports with your school work?
Yes, it can sometimes be difficult, however it comes with being a student athlete. It’s one of many lessons you learn how to balance and why school is always priority.
Could you walk us through a typical day in the life of Jason Moore?
That would depend on what sport I’m currently playing. During school if it’s a school sport I get up go to school. Go to afterschool practice or game and then go home and do whatever homework that I may have. [Then] I try to squeeze some PlayStation in. If it’s during the summer I try to get rest and be a kid. On game days you can find me resting in my room while playing 2K19 on my PS4.
For you, what would you say the role of a sports parent is?
My mom is a true sports parent. She is at 99% of my games. I’ll give her that .01% as my brother also plays basketball and baseball and she is only one person.
What would you say the coach’s role is?
For a coach I truly believe not every coach is a coach for every single-person.
Would you care to elaborate on this?
I have had a couple coaches in my years that I may bump heads with. [They] didn’t see my potential, [they] didn’t give me a chance and then you have those [coaches] that you never forget.
Would you care to share who the coaches are that you’ll never forget?
My pinto baseball coach at age 8, Jeff Woolman. My 10/11-year-old basketball coach at the Y, Jessie Wordlaw. [Moving] on to my high school baseball coach Brian Manering. My freshman basketball coach Alan Ford. To even my travel ball coaches Paul and Aaron Juarez. Each coach teaches you something. Some even instill how to become a respectable ball player. How to learn to be humble enough to lose and go back out there like you just won. Coaches don’t realize the impact they can make on someone just by giving them a chance. Believing in them and most importantly realizing we are just kids.
What kinds of words of encouragement would you give a younger athlete?
Never give up. Always believe in yourself and when your mom says rest is needed, believe her and rest.
Know a local athlete that you believe is The Ultimate? Tell us who you would like spotlighted by completing the form here, at gocorn.org/athlete.