Doral Moore believes he is ready for the next step of his basketball career.
That would be as a professional.
The 7-foot-1 center, who is from metro Atlanta, declared for the NBA draft after three seasons at Wake Forest. Moore hired an agent as an early-entry candidate and will remain in the draft pool. Moore had a pre-draft workout with the Hawks on Thursday. He worked out for the Wizards on Tuesday.
“I was just confident in my ability,” Moore said of his decision to hire an agent. “I’m athletic, seven feet. I feel like I have all the right intangibles. I just have to get with the right people and get me ready for the next level and I did.”
Moore is represented by DeAngelo Simmons, who also is the agent for former Hawks power forward and four-time All-Star Paul Millsap.
“Doral can be the sleeper in this year’s draft,” Simmons said. “He has great hands. He can move for a 7-1 guy and can shoot it 17 feet out. What I’m most impressed by is his work ethic, and he’s like a sponge. He wants to learn, similar to Paul.”
Moore grew up in Georgia and played his first three years at Luella High in Locust Grove. When his high school coach left, he jumped at the opportunity to play on the national stage. He played his senior season at Montverde Academy in Florida, where he was part of a national championship with the 76ers’ Ben Simmons.
Moore chose Wake Forest to play for Danny Manning, who played for the Hawks as part of his long-time NBA career after winning a national championship at Kansas.
“Danny Manning is a big man, and I thought I could relate to him,” Moore said. “My career at Wake was up and down. The first couple years I struggled a little bit with the system. The ACC is one of the best college basketball conferences, so it was a little tough. My third year, I really worked hard in the offseason, and I turned a lot of heads this past season. I did a lot of good things and had some good stats. That helped me a lot with this process right now.”
Moore averaged 11.1 points and 9.4 rebounds last season for the Demon Deacons. He shot 68.9 percent from the field last season, first in the ACC, and set the league record for dunks in a season at 88, eight more than the previous mark. His career field-goal percentage was .653. Moore’s rebound total ranked third in the ACC last season, while he led in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage, and he also averaged two blocks per game and a team-best 61.
At Wake Forest, Moore played with John Collins. The Hawks selected Collins with the 19th overall pick last year, and he was recently named to the NBA All-Rookie second team. Collins was one of many Hawks players at the team’s practice facility for a workout following the session for draft hopefuls. The two spent a few minutes speaking and Moore said he has sought out Collins for advice during the draft process.
“He said play has hard as you can,” Moore said. “Talk on offense. Talk on defense. Run the floor as hard as you can because teams like to see that from bigs, especially young, athletic bigs.”
That’s how Moore sees himself.
“I’m a long, athletic big,” Moore said as a self-description. “I can step out and shoot the mid-range a little bit. But my main strength is getting all the offensive and defensive rebounds and everything around the rim and catching lobs, that’s my strongest suit.”