Chris Moore was an offensive force in high school basketball, scoring 2,161 points for Park School in the mid-1990s.
In his professional life, he is more of a defensive presence.
Moore works for the United States Secret Service, the federal law enforcement agency charged with protecting the president, vice president and their families, plus other dignitaries and heads of state. (Congress asked the Secret Service to take up that duty after President William McKinley was assassinated in Buffalo in 1901.)
Moore has been with the Secret Service for seven years. He likes the job, but – as the name of the agency implies – he can’t talk a whole lot about it. What happens at the office stays at the office.
When Moore was growing up in Buffalo, did he ever picture himself working at the highest levels of law enforcement, helping to protect the Leader of the Free World?
“Honestly no, I did not ever dream of working in this profession,” he said. “But I am very happy with the career I’ve chosen and the opportunities it has presented.”
One of those opportunities is travel. Moore estimates he has been overseas 10 times, including trips to every continent. He has also seen plenty of the U.S.
“We just ended a busy time with the campaign,” he said. “We did a tremendous amount of travel then.”
Globe-trotting is quite a change for Moore, who is 34. After graduating from Park in 1996 with the school’s all-time scoring record, Moore went on to college about a half mile away from Park’s Snyder campus. He enrolled at Daemen College, playing basketball under coach Don Silveri.
Moore didn’t break the 2,000-point mark in college, but he made the school’s hall of fame and ranks third on Daemen’s all-time list of games played with 118.
“That was a good experience,” he said of playing at Daemen. “I got to stay at home and play in front of my family, and it was just up the street from Park.”
Moore said he is still in touch with Silveri and with Daemen Athletic Director Bill Morris, who played baseball at Canisius College while Moore was an assistant basketball coach there. Moore was an assistant under then-coach Mike MacDonald from 2000 to 2002. MacDonald, now coaching at Medaille, is also on Moore’s speed-dial list.
“Mike is top notch, he taught me so much about the game,” Moore said. “From a coaching standpoint, from an X’s and O’s standpoint, he was a great teacher of the game, and all-around great guy.”
Moore returned to Park the week before Christmas, to take part in the school’s annual Alumni vs. Varsity exhibition game. It was his first trip back for the game since he moved to the Washington, D.C., area.
“It was great, I was happy to be back,” he said.
Were he not in the Secret Service, Moore would likely be a Buffalo firefighter, a job he held from 2002 to 2005.
“I loved that job,” he said. “I worked at a lot of busy houses. Mostly on the West Side, Engine 2.”
The chance to serve and protect at the national level was too good to pass up, and Moore has no complaints. He plays pickup basketball about once a week with colleagues, he said, or else he finds a run at one of several nearby military bases.
President Barack Obama is a regular participant in pickup basketball games. And in case you are wondering – no, Moore does not get to shoot hoops with The Big O.
Moore has also taken up bowling for recreation. Another way he relaxes is by attending Washington Wizards games. Well, that’s assuming he can relax while watching an NBA team with a 7-29 record. But Moore knows something about suffering as a sports fan.
“I’m always down here bragging about my Buffalo Bills,” he said. “That’s one thing I always do, even though we’re having tough times. Everybody in my office knows that I’m a big Buffalo Bills guy because I’m always talking about the Bills. Win or lose, I’m a fan of the home team.”