Maya Moore has decided to officially retire from playing basketball.
The Minnesota Lynx star walked away from the WNBA in 2019 to help her current husband Jonathan Irons win his release from prison by having his 50-year sentence overturned in 2020. Irons married Moore shortly after his release and the couple had their first child, Jonathan Jr., in July.
She announced her decision to retire on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Prior to Monday, Moore was under no obligation to play basketball again.
Moore said, “Well, I think it’s time to put an end to my pro basketball life. I walked away four seasons ago but I wanted to officially retire. This is a beautiful time for us and our family. The work we’ve done. I want to get that done in the next chapter. Be at home.” To my community and my family…. This is what I turn to. Hang it up.”
The 33-year-old Moore won four WNBA championships with the Minnesota Lynx, two Olympic gold medals with USA Basketball and two NCAA titles with UConn.
“On behalf of the Minnesota Lynx organization, I want to congratulate Maya on a terrific basketball career,” said Lynx coach and president of basketball operations Cheryl Reeve. “We will always cherish her time in the Lynx costume and wish her all the best as she continues to pursue this next chapter in her life.”
Moore will be eligible for the Naismith Hall of Fame next year since she stopped playing four years ago.
Moore was one of the rare athletes who left their sport early in their careers. Drafted #1 by the Lynx in 2011 and averaged 18.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals for Minnesota. She was the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2014 as well as winning Rookie of the Year.
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement, “We are incredibly grateful for the eight amazing seasons Maia Moore has had for the Women’s Basketball Association and for women’s basketball fans everywhere.” The Finals MVP award is indicative of the kind of rare generational talent Maya brought to this league, but perhaps her greatest legacy is what she achieved outside of the game.
“Her strong support for change in the criminal justice system through her ‘Win With Justice’ project has elevated her impact to new heights, and her work will continue to inspire her fans around the world.”
When Moore moved away from basketball, she started a social action campaign called “Win With Justice.” Moore and her husband also released a book this week called “Love and Justice.”
She finished her career as the Lynx franchise leader in goal average, 3-point field goals made (530) and steals (449) and ranked second in total points scored (4,984), field goals made (1,782), and assists (1,782). 896) and blocks (176).
“Maya Moore left a forever mark on the state of Minnesota, the Minnesota Lynx franchise and the hearts of Lynx fans everywhere,” said Glenn Taylor, owner of Lynx, Minnesota Timberwolves. Maya’s awards are numerous; her leadership and talent both courageous and inspiring laid the foundation for the league’s most exciting and historic tournament from 2011-2017. As Maya’s basketball career culminates today, there is no doubt she will continue to influence the game we all love. We wish Maya every Good luck and we will always root for her.”
Moore went 150-4 in her career at UConn. The two-time AP Player of the Year was a key part of the Huskies’ 90-game winning streak that was the longest ever until the school ran 111 games a few years later.
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This story was originally published Jan 16, 2023 8:35 AM.