Athlete of the week: Dee Moreland is a young leader for Troup basketball

Published 8:50 am Saturday, February 10, 2024

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Dee Moreland is just a sophomore but is already a leader for the Troup boys’ basketball team. After bursting onto the scene as a freshman last year, Moreland has upped his game to new heights while helping to lead a young Tigers squad.

“I’ve had to step up this year and become a leader,” he said. “It can be hard being young and a leader on the team because some of the older guys don’t necessarily want to take you seriously all the time.”

Moreland is averaging 14 points and four rebounds per game. Despite being one of the go-to players for the Tigers, Moreland is not satisfied or content. He is driven to get even stronger on the court.

“I need to do more weight training and work on my body, so I will be able to take contact better when I’m going towards the goal and be able to finish strong through contact,” Moreland said. 

How would Moreland describe his own game? Versatile. 

Moreland can play just about every position from shooting guard down to center for Troup. He can stay around the perimeter or slash and attack the paint. 

With the Tigers being undersized, especially when they lock horns with teams from Atlanta, Moreland often has to go up against the opponents’ biggest players.

“It can be tough, but just because they are big, you can’t let them scare you,” he said. “You have to play smart.”

Moreland’s pure athleticism has been honed on the court. He has played the game he loves since he was three years old and has never spent much time focused on other sports outside of a detour on the Long Cane football team in seventh grade. 

His athleticism has allowed him to throw down some rim-rattling dunks that lift the student section and bench off their feet every time. 

“It feels great because we have momentum from the bench and the crowd getting hype, so it can help bring momentum to the team,” Moreland said. 

It has been an up-and-down season for Troup as a whole, but Moreland has been happy to be reunited with coach Vacher Hammett, who is in his first year as head coach at Troup and previously coached Moreland in sixth and seventh grade at Long Cane.

“It’s good because we have a strong connection and even though he knows me, he is still going to push me to be better,” Moreland said. 

With the region tournament set to start next Monday, Moreland is not focused on personal accolades or goals. His eyes are firmly locked in on helping Troup make its first appearance in the playoffs since he got to high school.

Moreland’s basketball pursuits don’t stop at Troup High as he is a 365-day-a-year player. He plays for two AAU teams throughout the year and is rarely away from a basketball court for long. In fact, if you are looking for him that is probably where you will find him. 

“My mom also doesn’t like me sitting around at the house, so when I’m not playing, I’m going to the gym,” Moreland said, flashing a big grin.