NBA Champion Moses Moody Motivates the Next Generation

By Katelyn Allen on Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Klutch Sports Group
Moses was the No. 14 pick in the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft.

Moses Moody
Job title: NBA Champion and Founder of Motivate One Foundation
Age: 21 | High School: North Little Rock High School

Moses Moody’s dream was never to make it to the NBA and play for an elite team. Though he was rising in the ranks, Moses only concerned himself with how well he’d play in his next game. Whether he was practicing or competing, he simply wanted to do his best.

“You have to prove yourself every day—day in and day out—especially in this competitive space that I’m in,” Moses said.  “But also slowing down, being who you are and knowing that I am 21 years old and there are experiences in life that I haven’t learned or encountered yet…just being where I am and trying not to grow up too fast, although you have to do it at a pretty rapid rate.”

His pursuit of excellence paid off.

"[Humility] means being willing to share your story, even if it's not perfect. Because those stories are what inspire others to do the same."

Moses became the highest-ranked player to go to the University of Arkansas since Bobby Portis in 2013. In 2020, he was named the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Men’s Basketball Rookie of the Year. Moses helped lead Arkansas to an Elite Eight appearance in the 2021 NCAA Tournament and a top 10 finish in the college basketball polls—his list of accomplishments runs the gamut.

This success quickly propelled him out of college; Moses only played one season with the Hogs before entering the 2021 NBA Draft, where he was scooped up in the first round—14th pick overall—by the Golden State Warriors. That season, the rookie applied his elite talent to help the team win it all. The Arkansas native and his Golden State Warrior teammates were crowned 2022 NBA Champions.

“To have this success so early in my career, being able to see basketball at all levels, to the highest level…,” Moses said, “Being able to do it with the guys that I was able to do it with was special. [Winning the championship] starts that bug that makes you want to do it again.”

Going from college straight to the NBA, Moses felt he had to grow up fast.  He didn’t want to lose sight of who raised him and the state that got him to where he is today. 

“I have a lot of mentors on my team like Dray [Green], Steph [Curry], Kevon [Looney], Klay [Thompson],” Moses said. “And the same back in Little Rock. My coach, my dad, my aunties and my friends–[seeking mentors is] just something that I do, I really like to learn.”

The biggest lesson he has learned along the way is to pay attention to those he surrounds himself with. 

“Pay attention to the people who try to teach you new things,” Moses said. “Pay attention to the way people treat you. Often, people say ‘nobody really tells me how they feel,’ but you should just pay attention, and they’ll show you.”

He wanted to give back—to provide the valuable mentorship he received to other young people. So in 2023, during just his second year in the NBA, Moses launched Motivate One, a foundation dedicated to supporting Arkansas youth to seek a better future—“focus on one to inspire the masses,” he said. Through his foundation, Moses hopes to give back to his home state and young people through mentorship.

”Influencing one person is not very easy to do,” he said. “People in the mentor space give up too quickly or…they’re too quick to blame the kid. You [need] to figure out how that kid learns.”

Moses wants to encourage mentors to find a student to specifically pour into. Among the first Motivate One events was his free basketball camp hosted for Arkansas children ages 11 to 14.

Noah Graham
Moses played a vital role in helping his team win the 2022 NBA Championship.

“It was everything I could’ve imagined,” Moses said. “It was the first [camp], so I didn’t really know what to expect. We just tried as hard as we could to make it a good experience, and it was. Klay came and he did his thing. He looked out for the kids. They seemed to love the event…It was just a fun environment for everybody.”

Moses plans on expanding Motivate One as he begins to figure out what the next steps for the foundation are. Since the launch, he’s hosted three events in Northwest Arkansas.

“I’m new to the foundation space,” Moses said. “Right now, I’m gathering information to really figure out exactly where I want everything to go and what I want to focus on.”

The young NBA star may have reached the top in his field, but Moses has more basketball ambitions and is still forming goals for the foundation. One thing is for sure, Moses wants to be a mentor and leader to Arkansans also aspiring to do their best and achieve big things. 

“Being around the kids and seeing how excited they were…Just thinking about when I was 14-years-old, how excited I would be…to hang around Klay Thompson, a four-time NBA champion. That doesn’t happen very often, so getting to be a part of that and create that experience for the kids had to be the best.” 

Jesse D. Garrabrant
Moses carries the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy after winning in the NBA Championship in 2022.

Passing the Ball

Moses shares his foundation's four core values:

  • Accountability
  • Perspective; having an open mind
  • Humility and vulnerability
  • Hard work; perseverance through pain

Want to Be Like MO?

 See the odds of playing sports collegiately and professionally, and start crafting a backup plan.

Another Hometown Hero

 Bobby Portis, a Hall High School grad and former Arkansas Razorback, also went on to greatness in the NBA.