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The Dagger - NCAAB

Here's something with potential to be a Web sensation.

Darren Moore, a 6-3 senior guard for UC Irvine, has perhaps the most unique tattoo in all of college basketball. As you can see, he's rather fond of Peter Parker's alter ego.

In fact, Moore has been a huge fan of Spider-Man, specifically the comic books, since he was young. Moore has long been a drawer, and he helped design what you're seeing on his chest and abdomen.

"When I was younger I was really into art," Moore said. "And the only thing I could draw in great detail was Spider-Man. When I got into tattoos, I thought it’d be great to get a Spider-Man tattoo, but I wanted to do something different."

We (the Internet) are late to the party on this, though. Moore got the idea to get arachnid ink in 2007, when he was sitting around with some friends and trying to decide what his latest design should be.

A friend of his recommend something on the chest, where he was still au naturale at the time. Soon thereafter, he was on the table getting it done.

"When the 'Spider-Man 3' movie came out, I loved he loved the costume," Moore said, referring to Venom's all-black look. "I decided, you know what, I’m going to draw it up and send it to the tattoo artist, which was right down the street from me ... on the Chino-Montclair border."

The Spider-Man logo and background webbing alone wasn't enough (though, seriously, I'm kind of envious over here; kid's got stones to be able to do that, and the design is so meticulously terrific). Moore wanted to put forces of good and evil, so two other characters were buzzed on.  

"I was like, 'You know, I could put Venom and Carnageon the side,' because those are my two favorite characters," Moore said, adding that getting the Spider-Man logo alone took six hours. "It was extreme pain that I went through. I went back to do the background, the Web, and everything. It’s kind of like my past, my childhood, something I really, really love.”

At home games in recent seasons, Moore's heard people refer to him as Spider-Man, and that includes the UC Irvine public address announcer.

"When I’m playing sometimes, I hear a lot of people yell it out," he said. "When we had Midnight Magic, there were a lot of students who approached me and asked, 'What’s up, Spidey?' It amazes me so many people have responded to it.”

Moore said he got his first tattoo when he was 18 years old. It was a "God’s Child" cross design on his right arm. Since then, as is the case with many who take the tattooed plunge, getting inked has become a passion.

On his arms he has his grandmother and mother’s names — LaJunna and Ossie — in permanent dedication. At the bottom of this post you'll see a picture of the design he has on his back, a basketball surrounded by a rosary with the phrase "Motivated by Jesus; Dedicated to the Game," something he got while playing at Northern Colorado in his freshman year.

"That was my third tattoo," he said. "My roommate and I at the time were drawing up tattoos during winter break, when everyone was gone from the school." 

And can we talk about Moore's playing ability? Because that absolutely deserves mention. Fittingly, he does it all for the Anteaters. Moore leads the team in points per game (17), rebounds (6.7), steals (2.5) and shoots a team-best 50 percent from the field. If this keeps up, he'll certainly be part of the All-Big West First Team at season's end.

While Moore admitted drawing is something he’s gotten away from in general, he said he can still sketch a near-flawless Spider-Man today, which is good, because he's not done with his full-frontal tribute.

"It’s amazing, that’s something I can still draw so well," he said. "Right now I’m currently thinking about something else. I want to do more with it, but it’s so hard, I don’t have a lot of space, but I don’t really exactly what yet."

If you'd like to see more of Moore, head over to Scott Roeder's photography blog, which is filled with so many incredible sports-related shots. Roeder was kind enough to let us use his photos for this post, so the least we can do is link his terrific work.

Matt Norlander is the editor of College Hoops Journal. You can email him at and follow him on Twitter.

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