He’s happier being closer to home.
That’s the reasoning behind Michael Moyer’s decision to step away from a chance to start at a small college in upstate New York in favor of walking on at Oregon State.
Moyer, a 2010 graduate of Sprague High School, was an all-Central Valley Conference player for three seasons. The 6-foot-2 point guard drew attention from several schools interested in his basketball talents.
Moyer landed at the St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York.
After his first season with the Cardinals, Moyer was named to the conference all-freshman team and appeared to be in line for more playing time or even earning a starting role in the following years.
But instead of returning to Rochester for a sophomore season, Moyer packed up and headed home to the Willamette Valley knowing he might never play college basketball again.
“Initially I wasn’t planning to play basketball. I started talking to the guys and thinking about waking on,” Moyer recently said about the early days at OSU. “Thank God it worked in my favor and now it’s an everyday thing.”
I caught up with Moyer after a practice recently and took the opportunity to ask him about his sojourn to the East Coast and how he feels about the decision to come home.
There was no shortage of confidence in Moyer on Thursday. I doubt there ever is.
Moyer said by the time he was a junior or senior at Sprague, he was bound and determined to get out and see the world, or at least something new, once he graduated from high school.
“I just wanted to go as far away as I could. See something new. Try some things and I did,” Moyer said. “New York was awesome.”
At St. John Fisher, Moyer played and average of 5.4 minutes and could have seen a bigger role with the team had he returned.
He had fun. He made friends, some of whom he still talks to, but something didn’t sit well.
Moyer said something was missing. It’s too cold in New York, and he missed his family and friends back home. Surprisingly, Moyer said there was a lot he missed about Oregon that he had previously been itching to get away from.
“I got homesick and thought it was about time to come back,” he said.
This year, he’s played just 6 minutes spread over five games and scored a total of three points.
“At first, I thought it would be difficult,” he said about playing less. “At Sprague, I had the green light since my freshman year, and the same thing in New York. People don’t understand that the competition level is higher here. I mean, these guys are really good.”
Moyer said he would like to play more but, for now, he feels lucky to be on the team and content supporting the team.
“I made the right choice to come back, bar none,” he said. “I have no idea what I would do without basketball. I think I’d get pretty bored.”