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Former Hawkeye basketball player to open youth gym in Tiffin

TIFFIN– When Darryl Moore came to the University of Iowa in 1993 little did he know he would not only get a chance to walk on the basketball team, but he would earn a scholarship, become a two-year starter and earn the Chris Street award, an award that exemplifies the spirit, enthusiasm and intensity of Chris, a former Hawkeye basketball player who died in a car wreck on Jan. 19, 1993.
Now Moore, who has been in medical sales for over a dozen years, is seeking to open a gym in Tiffin to work with kids on developing basketball and life skills.
Knowing his great smile and outgoing personality, one can see why he has been successful in sales, but the former Chicago prep was looking for something more.
Darryl started out coaching his kids and was then asked by other parents if he could coach their kids as well.
Even though he was good at sales, it wasn’t his passion, Moore said. He wanted to do more coaching.
“Coaching kids and developing kids was really my passion,” said Moore, who lives on the north side of Tiffin with wife Shawna. “It’s not just coaching basketball; it’s developing relationships that last a long time. I can relate to them and have fun with them.”
Moore is looking at an empty warehouse by Tiffin, off Interstate 80, which was recently rezoned by the City of Tiffin to accommodate an athletic facility– per his request.
Right now Moore is working on financing and investors.
Moore currently works out of Garner and North Bend elementary schools and the North Liberty Recreation Center.
He also works with kids at Clear Creek in the mornings and after school.
“There has been a need for this for a long time,” said Darryl. “I feel like I have been around here long enough that I have built enough of a reputation where I can at least start to build a base.”
“It won’t just be lessons,” Moore explained. “I’ll be doing camps and clinics. I’ll rent gym space, I’ll do tournaments and I’ll run a league, too. I just want to be involved in basketball and I just want to help develop these young kids.”
Moore said he appreciates the support he has around the area.
“One parent tells another parent about my teaching skills until last week when I got my website,” Moore said. “Everybody I’ve talked to, it’s unbelievable the response I’ve got.”
The former Hawkeye said he wouldn’t be able to do this without great support from his wife Shawna.
“It’s a lot of time away from home and I like to spend time with my family,” he added. “The support I have with Shawna has probably been the biggest factor in doing this full time.”
Darryl and Shawna have a Brady-Bunch kind of family. Darryl has four children from his first marriage, three girls and a boy, who visit regularly.
Shawna has two girls and her daughter Jordan lives with them.
Currently, Darryl works with kids Sunday through Thursday, mostly at night, during the school year. During the summer, he works with the kids during the day.
Moore wants to develop a staff but also wants to make sure all involved in his program share the passion he has for teaching the right way.
When asked whether he does the Tom Davis press– like he did when he was playing– when he coaches, he responded, “It’s funny because I run the Tom Davis press. I call it ’55.’ The kids look at me and I’m on the bench (flashing 5-5 with his hands). I tried to run the motion but they were too young.
“A lot of my things come from the coaches I had throughout my years, starting with my elementary coaches, but I do a lot of Tom Davis stuff … he’s so smart.”
Darryl also gives credit to his elementary school coach.
“We called him ‘Coach Hamp,’” he said. His name was Lonnie Hampton. “Most of the fundamental things I do today I learned in elementary school. I tell people ‘basketball doesn’t change, it’s just motivating the kids to do it and to do it right.’
“The beginning and the end of my career were probably the most important part of my learning the game,” he added.
Moore is still a big Hawkeye fan but didn’t have the chance to make it to any games this past season, where the Hawkeyes not only swept Michigan State and Purdue, but also were ranked as high as third in the nation. He was too busy training future basketball players.
“I was telling Shawna that we never won at Michigan State,” he said. “Anywhere on the road is tough to win in the Big Ten, but for them to beat Michigan State there, I was so happy for them. I still can’t figure out how they did it.”
When Iowa was ranked third in the nation, Moore felt good.
“The first thing I thought was how proud I was to be a Hawkeye,” Moore dished. “Not just basketball but football. I have three or four (issues of) Sports Illustrated where we’re on the cover. Most people don’t even know where Iowa is.”
Moore taught basketball clinics for girls and boys in grades sixth through eighth on Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, at Clear Creek Amana High School. Another girls’ clinic is coming in June. Learn more at www.court45.com.