Moe legacy lives on in Iowa City

After moving from Indianapolis this fall, junior Pete Moe reflects on his first few months as a Trojan and keeping the Moe legacy alive in eastern Iowa.


Owen Aanestad

Steve Bergman’s squad is filled with former Hawkeyes sons, including Jeff and Pete Moe. The father-son duo is keeping the Moe legacy alive after moving back to Iowa City this fall.

Six foot nine Pete Moe ‘22 is easy to spot in the hallways, regardless of the recently crowded West High halls. Knowing almost no one beyond his new teammates on the basketball court, Moe found himself in a role he never would have expected: the new kid. 

“[West High] is pretty big and diverse … I was pretty shocked about that,” Pete said.

On his first day, while traversing a West High that most former students wouldn’t recognize, Pete had only one thing on his mind. 

“I was really excited to play basketball for Coach Bergman, I have heard a lot of good things about him,” Pete explained. 

Pete’s basketball journey started in Indianapolis, Ind. at the local park and Boys and Girls Club. He found himself putting up shots daily after getting over his initial hatred for the sport he now calls his favorite. 

“I played football until like middle school and I was always better in football because I wasn’t that tall but then I grew, so I stayed into basketball,” said Pete. 

Pete found a way to showcase his height and talent early on at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis throughout his freshman and sophomore years while playing for the Fighting Irish. He averaged 13.3 points per game as a sophomore in a high school basketball program almost as rich as West High’s entire athletic department.

“The atmosphere was like a family, everybody knew each other, everybody came out to games to support each other, … It was just really fun there, they made me the person I am today,” Pete said about his former high school.

Pete’s dad Jeff Moe, after playing high school basketball in Indianapolis just like his son, found himself in Iowa City with the opportunity to play for Dr. Tom Davis at the University of Iowa. Jeff played for the Hawkeyes from 1984-1988 and averaged 11.1 points per game in Iowa’s run to the Elite Eight in 1987. Like his son Pete, Jeff brought the fire and an extra gear to the court every game.

Michael Morgan (left) and Jeff Moe (right) pose for the 1987-1988 Iowa Basketball team photo. (University of Iowa )

“I’ve always been an Iowa fan. I always watched Roy Deven Marble and Aaron White, those teams,” explained Pete.

Jeff, after his career at Iowa, was selected in the second round of the 1988 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz, but ended up back in his hometown of Indianapolis where he went on to watch Pete find his love for basketball in the same place Jeff did. 

“A lot of people know me around here because of his name … I love wearing number 20, representing him and making him proud,” said Pete. 

Unlike any other high school in eastern Iowa, Steve Bergman’s squad is filled with former Hawkeyes’ sons. Pete was a perfect coincidental addition. 

“I very vividly remember watching [Pete’s] dad Jeff play. He was a big fan favorite and he played with Michael Morgan and Brad Lohaus who were both parents of West High players,” said hall of fame West High basketball coach Steve Bergman. 

Having to field a whole new starting lineup to start the season with a group of guys that have rarely played together wasn’t easy. But for Pete, one of the things that helped him adapt was connecting with senior Marcus Morgan. Morgan, who is sidelined for the remainder of the year with a knee injury, is the son of former Iowa basketball player Michael Morgan who was teammates with Jeff throughout his time playing for the Hawkeyes. 

“I knew Pete was a good hooper coming in and we connected before he transferred … having been in the varsity program for some time now, I did my best to help Pete out with whatever he needed to get situated here, like connecting him with some of the guys that were here like Christian and Grahm. I tried to give him a little breakdown of what he was going to be coming into with the coaches and system and everything like that.” Marcus explained. 

Every once in a while, during a timeout or while on the bench, you can find the two teammates and friends going back and forth in hopes of building some much-needed team chemistry. 

“Pete brings a much-needed presence of size to the team… He brings a lot of grit and fire, and as the year has gone on I’ve seen Pete get much more comfortable stepping into a leadership role on the team,” said Marcus. 

Pete made a name for himself in the Hawkeye state early for the boys basketball team when he dropped 41 points in the Trojans’ season debut against City High on Dec. 18. The almost walking double-double is averaging 23.6 points a game so far this season to put him as one of the top three scorers in 4A this season as a junior.

Pete Moe ’22 slams home a dunk in the third quarter against City High on Dec. 18. (Owen Aanestad)

“We were pleasantly surprised when Pete’s family decided to move here. We were a rebuilding basketball team and a player of his ability was a welcome addition,” Bergman said.

Pete and the boys basketball team have struggled to find themselves amidst one of the toughest seasons ever on and off the court. The young Trojans will return plenty of playmakers next year and are looking to create team chemistry that will put them right back on the top as a dominant basketball program in the state.