Pre-season opening emotional reunion for Jordan Clarkson

Monday’s preseason opener against Spurs will be an emotional comeback for Utah Jazz goalie and Wagner graduate Jordan Clarkson.

The game will be played on the fifth anniversary of the death of former Roosevelt star Cameron Moore, one of Clarkson’s best friends.

Moore, who played for Alabama-Birmingham after graduating from Roosevelt in 2008, died on October 4, 2016, after collapsing on the pitch during his first training with AV Ohrid, a professional team in Macedonia. He was 25 years old.

Moore was reportedly diagnosed with an enlarged heart in May 2015.

Clarkson, the 2021 NBA’s sixth man of the year after averaging a career-high 18.4 points per game, became emotional when talking about Moore after Sunday’s practice in Salt Lake City. Clarkson was playing for the Los Angeles Lakers at the time of Moore’s death.

“It’s a big deal for me,” Clarkson said of Monday’s game. “Even though this is a preseason game, going back (to San Antonio) means a little more, just being there and being able to support (Moore’s) brother and his family.”

Moore played four seasons at UAB. As a senior, he averaged 16.1 points and 10.5 rebounds and was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year.

Clarkson, who played in Tulsa and Missouri after graduating from Wagner in 2010, played against Moore in high school and college. Moore also worked at Clarkson Youth Camp in Los Angeles while Clarkson was with the Lakers.

“He’s someone I grew up with, someone who mentored me, someone I admired,” Clarkson said of Moore.

“(Moore) was genuine, and that’s why Jordan loved him,” Clarkson’s father Mike Clarkson told the San Antonio Express-News in 2016.

Clarkson said he always enjoys playing Spurs at the AT&T Center.

“This arena almost feels like another home to me,” he said. “My parents will be there by the bench and I can see all of my friends and family in the stands.”

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Twitter: @tom_orsborn

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