“Run! Run! Get back on defense!” yells Brandon Moss, shouting instructions to the kids in his charge at the Florida Flight Basketball Academy in Longwood, Florida. On this day, Moss is the special guest attraction and the young attendees are awestruck, mesmerized by his off-the-charts athleticism and 6’ 8” frame. As for Moss, he’s just happy to be part of the action. “Anyplace where there’s a court and a basketball I’ll be there … and I’ll always have a smile on my face.”
That’s Brandon Moss in a nutshell.
Arguably the most talented player in the 11-year history of the Florida Flight of the Florida Basketball Association, Moss averaged 30 points, 13.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game last season as the Flight captured its first FBA championship. “We played for each other. When you see everyone giving their best effort it makes you want do the same for them,” he said. “It was just a really good group of guys to be around.”
Flight Coach Mark King sees Moss not only as an extraordinary talent, but also someone with the passion to be the best. “Many times, a star player is content with just being the most talented player on his team. But that’s not the case with Brandon. He’s chasing greatness, which makes him a lot of fun to coach. Most people recognize Brandon for his high-flying dunks and spectacular blocks, but he’s a complete player who really excels on both ends of the court.”
Born and raised in Alabama, Moss attended Midfield High School. He initially split time between football and basketball but ultimately abandoned the gridiron to focus on hoops full-time despite being a talented prep wide receiver. “I remember the precise moment I made that decision,” he recalls. “I went over the middle to catch a pass and a linebacker lit me up. That quickly led me away from football. By the time basketball season came around I was 6’4” and I knew I was pretty good at it. From then on, basketball was my sport.”
After high school, Moss opted for the JUCO college basketball route and by his sophomore season at Shelton State, he’d drawn the attention of several major schools. But his unwillingness to sit out a season led him to choose NAIA powerhouse LSU Alexandria in Louisiana – where he would be immediately eligible – for his final two seasons. Moss quickly went to work with his new team, setting a school record in points scored as a Junior and leading the Generals to a 31-0 undefeated 2016-17 regular season. He then exceeded those numbers as a Senior by more than 100 points, garnering All-American honors as the team advanced to the NAIA Final game, losing on an overtime buzzer beater to Graceland University.
While at LSUA, Moss forced his way into national prominence by winning the NAIA Slam Dunk championship. “We had just finished a playoff game that afternoon and I only had a couple hours to recover before the dunk contest,” he recalls. “People were asking me if I still wanted to participate. I told them there would be plenty of time to sleep after it was over, so I just gave it everything I had. I lined up my 6’11 and 6’9” teammates and a couple kids from the crowd – and did my famous jump-over.”
It was that same otherworldly athletic ability that captured the attention of every FBA executive in the building at the league’s annual combine in March 2019. “Brandon immediately stood out,” King said. “It took all of about 10 minutes – and me seeing four quick and easy dunks – to initiate a call to his agent.” The contract was signed the next day.
“When I found out the Flight were planning an extended trip to China I was very excited because it was a new way for me to get looks from teams in other countries,” Moss explained. “It was my first opportunity outside the United States. Once we got there, Coach King just told us to have fun and win games … and that’s what we did. Then we came back and won the league championship a few months later. I haven’t regretted joining the Flight for a second.”
Shortly after the conclusion of the FBA season, Moss was invited to attend tryouts for the NBA G League’s South Bay Lakers, the affiliate of the Los Angeles Lakers. Although he made a strong impression and performed well in several exhibition games, he was among the Lakers’ final roster cuts. “I learned from this experience that professional basketball is a business,” he said. “But being there was great for me because I proved I can compete with some of the best players in the world. It just wasn’t the right fit at that time but I’m determined to find the perfect one for me.”
Moss wasn’t without a team for long, though, as his agent, Tabetha Plummer, found a different opportunity for him. During the Flight’s trip to China he was discovered by a team in Chile, CDU de Concepcion, who kept him on their radar and eventually signed him to be one of the three allotted Americans on their roster.
Though unsure of what to expect at first, Moss thoroughly enjoyed his Chile experience. “In the United States, the fans cheer for you and that’s kind of where it stops. In Chile, they take their basketball very seriously. They’d practically die for you, especially when you’re winning,” Moss said. “We went from about 500 fans per game the year before to about 4,000 last year.”
CDU de Concepcion languished in last place in the previous season but Moss and his new teammates elevated the team to a second-place regular-season finish. They then proceeded to sweep their first-round playoff series … and while waiting for the other series to end, the COVID pandemic hit the country and abruptly ended their season.
Now 26, Moss has relocated from the West Coast to the Orlando area since coming back from Chile, with a top priority of defending last season’s FBA Championship. “It is my goal to play at the highest level possible. I hope that’s the NBA but if it isn’t and I’m available, I’ll always come home to play for the Florida Flight.”
The FBA is a Florida-based professional basketball league providing a development, branding and exposure platform for athletes, referees and other individuals seeking to further their professional basketball careers.