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MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Former Patriot adjusting to college basketball

Few basketball players go from playing for a small-town school to a Division II college.

Kurtis Moody is an exception.

After spending three years on the Pequot Lakes varsity, the 2011 graduate is a member of the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs men’s basketball team.

Following his 2011-12 red-shirt freshman year, the 6-3 forward has played in five of 16 games this year for the Bulldogs.

“I have to work on my speed and quickness because a lot of these guys are much bigger,” Moody says of the transition from 2A basketball to the collegiate level.

How successful was Moody as a Patriot?

A member of the 1,000-point club, Moody has 1,364 points to his name.

“Pequot Lakes was a fun place to play and I had a great time,” he said. “I loved my teammates and coaches.”

A handful of moments stand out from Moody’s high school career.

“Beating Pelican Rapids my senior year in the playoffs was big,” he said. “We also made it to the subsection tournament my sophomore year.”

Two explicit instances come to mind for Moody when it comes to individual achievements as a Patriot.

“The game-winning shots,” he said of his two clutch makes against Pelican Rapids on Jan. 16, 2011, and Detroit Lakes on Feb. 25, 2011.

Though Moody is a forward who describes himself as “an aggressive player that likes to take the ball to the basket and work off that,” the sophomore notes that his favorite NBA player is point guard Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls. Though they play different positions, Moody likens himself to Rose, saying “he’s a smaller guy out there against bigger guys and he get’s right in the mix.”

When asked about his future as a member of the Bulldogs, Moody said, “I just want to earn more playing time and have a bigger role on the team.”

Life outside of basketball for Moody includes “hanging out with the guys,” while he works toward a degree in health and fitness.

His non-basketball activities also included being a two-time varsity player for the Patriots baseball team his sophomore and junior years.

Moody, who played first base and was a middle-of-the-order hitter, was held out of playing spring or summer baseball his senior year due to nagging back injuries.

“I enjoyed baseball, and I miss playing and regret that I couldn’t contribute to the team my senior year,” he said.

How does a basketball player make the jump from a small-town school to the Division II level?

“You just have to work hard, and do what you do well,” Moody said. “Focus on your strengths and improve your weaknesses.”