PILOT MOUNTAIN — Wade Moody most likely never got a warm reception at East Surry during his high school playing days.
He sure did Thursday night.
Moody, who played basketball at county rival Mount Airy, was in Pilot Mountain for the ACC Barnstorming Tour. The senior guard at North Carolina was a member of the team of ACC All-Stars that took on the Surry County All-Stars.
As the ACC lineup was announced, it came down to the last two guys — N.C. State’s T.J. Warren, the ACC’s player of the year, and Moody. Warren, who will enter the NBA draft in June and attracted a large number of Wolfpack fans, was announced to the tune of a big cheer from the crowd.
It got even louder when announcer Bill Hart called Moody.
“They called my name last and people were joking like they’d forgotten me,” Moody said with a chuckle. “It was fun to get the ovation. I was excited all day, and it definitely was great.”
Moody got significant minutes during the game — scoring on a few outside shots and a driving layup in traffic on Thursday night.
He joined UNC as a walk-on in 2012 after playing three years on varsity at MAHS. Moody was a two-time all-conference selection with the Granite Bears.
The Barnstorming Tour gives ACC senior players a last go-round before their college careers come to an end.
This one was extra special for Moody.
“This was definitely the best one,” Moody said. “I was looking forward to this one once I saw the schedule. It’s kind of like a homecoming even though I didn’t play here. I knew I’d see a lot of people and get to talk to people I haven’t seen in a long time.
“I haven’t been home in a long time so it was really fun for me.”
A few other former Granite Bears took the court for the Surry team — Robbie Rives, Justin Holleman and Austin Taylor.
Moody, who graduated in 2010, had a blast being back on the court with some familiar faces.
“I was guarding two of the guys I played high school ball with. We were just kind of joking and pushing each other around, but it was really fun to be out there,” Moody said. “I told Robbie Rives, ‘You’ve got to hit this 3 if I give you some space,’ and he hit one, so I was happy for him.”
The ACC team went on to win 168-100 in a game full of razzle-dazzle play and rim-rattling slam dunks. Afterward, players hung around to sign autographs for eager fans of all ages.
Moody’s most memorable moment with the Tar Heels this season came March 3 on UNC’s Senior Night. Moody was inserted in the starting lineup against Notre Dame and sank a 3-pointer on the Heels’ opening possession. Moody also hit a pair of 3-pointers against Wake Forest, the second of which lifted UNC to the 100-point mark and meant discounted biscuits the next day at area Bojangles restaurants. His accomplishment earned him the nickname “Biscuits” on campus.
The ACC All-Stars had already played three games on the Tour, before making the stop in Pilot Mountain. Moody said he was overwhelmed by the support from the fans.
“It meant a ton,” Moody said. “Just being able to come home and know people wanted to be here was so cool. Some of the other (games), we’ve had good crowds, but I think this was one of our best ones yet.”