Former Oklahoma Christian University All-American John Moon has been named to the Heartland Conference 20th anniversary men’s basketball team.
With the NCAA Division II league disbanding after the conclusion of this athletic year, Heartland Conference associates are commemorating specific individuals by formulating all-time conference teams.
Student-athletes named to this roster must have a specific set of credentials—a player must have been awarded with at least one Heartland Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year or Defensive Player of the Year and one All-American award or been awarded multiple Heartland Player of the Year or All-American honors for a full Heartland Conference member. Oklahoma Christian joined the ranks as a full Heartland Conference member in the 2012-13 season.
Moon, who played from 2013 to 2017, was the first basketball player from the conference to be named on the Academic All-American first-team list awarded by the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA), receiving the honor twice.
Oklahoma Christian interim head coach Kendre Talley said Moon left his mark on Oklahoma Christian and aided in creating a culture for Eagle athletics.
“[Moon] set the standard for what it takes to be a great player at the Division II level,” Talley said. “He was able to come in and impact the program and leave a mark by breaking records and helping Oklahoma Christian establish an identity. He is a player that we refer to and make sure our guys that are a part of the program today know about.”
Continuing his academic success, Moon was named the Heartland’s male Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the 2016-17 season.
The 7-foot center is one of six Heartland Conference players to be honored as an All-American. Moon received honorable mention recognition in his junior campaign by the Division II Conference Commissioners Association. Within the Heartland Conference, Moon was listed as an all-conference selection and the defensive player of the year in both his junior and senior seasons.
Moon rounds out a series of noteworthy career leading statistics, finishing No. 1 in all-time blocked shots (237), No. 2 in total rebounds (812) and No. 3 in scoring (1,881).
Talley continued to say Moon’s character guided his actions and pushed fellow teammates to compete to the best of their ability.
“[Moon] was a silent assassin,” Talley said. “He was very proactive and had a lot of integrity. You never had to worry if he was doing the right thing, and the fact that he led by example always rubbed off on his teammates. That is why he was successful—he knew what needed to be done and did it.”
To add to his accolades, Moon was named to the Heartland Conference Hall of Fame—the only Eagle affiliated with that level of distinction.
Heartland Conference associates wrote brief individual biographies about each player who made the list—Moon’s reads as follows:
“Moon is one of the best defensive players to ever play in the Heartland Conference and is a two-time winner of the Heartland Conference Defensive Player of the Year award. Moon also earned All-American honors in 2015-16. The Oklahoma Christian alumnus holds the record for single-game points with 50 and tied a DII record in going a perfect 20-of-20 from the floor in his top-scoring game. Moon is also the career leader in blocks with 237. Moon was inducted into the Heartland Conference Hall of Fame in 2018.”
Accompanying Moon on the Heartland 20th anniversary team are: Pierce Caldwell, a guard from Incarnate Word (2006-10); Jamal Holden, a guard from the University of Texas-Permian Basin (2010-11); Kevin Kotzur, a forward from St. Mary’s University (2009-13); Matt Miller, a guard from Drury University (1999-2002); Chris Mortellaro, a forward from Drury (2000-04); DaVaunta Thomas, a guard from the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (2014-2018); Jake Toupal, a guard from Arkansas-Fort Smith (2010-14); Shawn Weinstein, a guard from St. Edward’s University (2005-08) and Seth Youngblood, a guard from Arkansas-Fort Smith (2013-2017).
For the individual biographies for the other Heartland 20th anniversary team members, click here.