Maya Moore walked away from the WNBA in 2019. Her decision caught many by surprise, but she felt that it was the necessary thing to do.
The Minnesota Lynx guard announced in February of 2019 that she would sit out the season to focus on other life endeavors.
Moore achieved a lot of success in the WNBA before she decided to step away.
Maya Moore’s WNBA career
Maya Moore was the No. 1 pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx. She immediately made an impact when she got to the league. She was the WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2011 and also won her first title.
Moore would later go on to win three more titles with the Lynx, establishing herself as one of the best players in WNBA history. The six-time WNBA all-star displayed her leadership on the court every game. She has played in and started every WNBA game since her rookie season.
In her last season with the Lynx in 2018, she averaged 18.0 ppg and 5.1 rpg. She was an integral part on the Lynx team that won multiple championships. Moore also has two Olympic gold medals with Team USA.
When it’s all said and done, she will go down as one of the best players ever in the history of the league.
Her decision to step away from basketball
It was not an easy decision for Maya Moore, but she felt that it had to be done. Moore wanted to focus on her family, as well as investing her time in some ministry dreams.
During that time, she helped change a man’s life. Jonathan Irons was a man from Missouri who was in prison serving time. He was arrested as a teenager and was sentenced to 50 years for burglary and assault.
Moore announced that she would sit out the 2020 season as well to help advocate Irons’ release from jail. Moore’s godparents told her that Irons was wrongly convicted at 16, and he was arrested, tried as an adult, and convicted of the crime.
In 2019, Moore told NBC News that there was no physical evidence, DNA or fingerprints tying Irons to the crime. And she was going to continue to fight for Irons until justice was served.
Earlier in March, Moore helped get Irons released from prison and have his initial conviction overturned. After the hearing, Moore said, “This day has been a long time coming.” Moore was filled with emotions as she watched Irons become a free man.
Stepping away from the game proved to be the right decision for Moore, not only did she want to make an impact on the court, she wanted to make an impact in life.
Maya Moore’s return to the WNBA
Maya Moore won’t play during the 2020 season or the Olympics because she still plans to focus on helping other inmates who were wrongly accused.
Moore did mention that she does not plan on retiring just yet, so hopefully, the WNBA will see her back in 2021. What Moore is doing goes far beyond the game of basketball.
She will continue to be a positive image whether she’s on the court and off.