SU’s 6-10 center maybe world’s tallest plant lover

Brandon Moore, Southern University’s 6’10” center, is the tallest Urban Forester in the world. There’s no real proof that he is, but until proven otherwise, that’s the story from The Bluff.


When Moore is not on the court gathering rebounds, setting screens or studying plays, he is studying the critical role trees and plants play in life. Moore is a grad student in the Southern’s Urban Forestry program.


Urban Forestry is the study of science and management of trees and green spaces where people live, work and play.


A person studying Urban Forestry (an Urban Forester) manages green spaces in urban areas and can branch into fields including: planning and developing of urban areas and research. And, the person can get involved in Geographic Infrastructure System(GIS)-planning the growth of cities, beautification projects with non-profits, park rangers with National Parks, working for cities in building inspections and landscape designs, and the list goes on.


It was the combination of head Basketball Coach Roman Banks recruiting and the reputation of SU’s Urban Forestry that landed Moore in the gold and blue.


The 23-year-old’s interest in Urban Forestry was sparked after Hurricane Katrina hit his hometown of New Orleans in 2005.


The New Orleans community's eagerness to move quickly to replant trees, flowers and shrubs that were washed away in the flooding after Katrina caught his attention.


“It was fascinating to see how fast the trees and plants grew back after something so devastating as a hurricane,” Moore said. 


Moore arrived at Southern last year after earning his bachelor’s in Liberal Studies from Florida International University in Miami. Moore said he was awed by the city roads flushed with trees and plant life. It encouraged him to take a few Urban Forestry classes there.


After graduating from FIU, Moore still had one year of eligibility left to play basketball. His FIU coach, former NBA star Isiah Thomas was leaving the school and Moore wanted to play his last year at home. So back to Louisiana it was.


Southern became attractive to him, Moore said, because he had heard about SU’s great program in Urban Forestry.


Coach Banks was familiar with Moore when Moore played at Holy Cross in New Orleans. Banks tried to recruit Moore when he was the associate head coach at Southeastern Louisiana University.


But Moore committed to the University of Arkansas and then transferred his freshmen year to FIU to play under Thomas.


“To play for a person with great connections that can help you down the road on and off the court like Coach Thomas was a great opportunity for me,” said Moore.


Coming to Southern was a good match. Southern had a top-notch graduate program in Urban Forestry and Moore could play his last year of basketball under Banks, only one hour away from home.


Moore said much of the success to this year’s team is owed to Banks. “This team had a lot of new players and Coach (Banks) worked us hard to come together,” said Moore. “Running at 6 a.m. brought us together quickly.”


This year’s men’s basketball team is the first team to have gone undefeated at home since the 1995-1996 season.


“It is always good to go undefeated at home and represent for the fans. Right now our main goal is to make it to the NCAA tournament,” said Moore.


The Jaguars enter the SWAC tournament in Garland, Texas, as the number one seed on March 12 and hope to win out and land in the NCAA tournament.


Southern ended its regular season (16-8, 10-2) tied with the Arkansas Pine-Bluff Golden Lions (11-13, 10-2 SWAC), atop the league standings.

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