Sunday, September 20, 2020

Maya Moore goes from All-WNBA to criminal justice advocate.

December 2, 2019 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Sports

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( Two decades isn’t the longest time in the world but 20 years is significant in professional sports. The Women’s National Basketball Association concluded its 23rd season during the summer of 2019 and there have been some well-chronicled struggles for exposure, finances, and treatment of its athletes. Those struggles should not overshadow the fact there have been some great basketball players throughout the history of the WNBA. It is notable that girls today have pursued professional basketball in America playing for the WNBA for a long time now as women’s basketball as grown.

Athletes like Breanna Stewart, Skylar Diggins-Smith, and Maya Moore are some of the most recognizable names and faces in recent years from the WNBA who grew up wanting to play in the WNBA. It was difficult for the WNBA to miss those three big names for different reasons in 2019 as Stewart missed the season due to injury, Diggins-Smith missed the season recovering from pregnancy, and Moore announced that she was taking a sabbatical to focus “on the people in my family, as well as on investing my time in some ministry dreams that have been stirring in my heart for many years”. Some of Moore’s actions in her WNBA absence have been made more public which show the person she is.

Even the most novice basketball fans are aware of the greatness of the University of Connecticut women’s basketball program as they have had multiple undefeated seasons, numerous All-Americans, and are coached by arguably the greatest head coach in women’s college basketball history, Geno Auriemma. One of the greatest players ever to play for UConn is Maya Moore, who earned a ton of college accolades and led the program to two NCAA championships. Not surprisingly, Moore was the number one pick of the WNBA Draft back in 2011. Moore was selected by the Minnesota Lynx. The same year in 2011, she became the first female basketball player to sign with Jordan Brand, Michael Jordan’s brand for Nike.

During her WNBA career, Maya Moore lived up to the large amount of hype that followed her from high school to college and college to the pros. She won the 2011 Rookie of the Year award for the best first-year WNBA player and has been named to six WNBA All-Star games. Moore was also recognized for her great play in earning the WNBA’s Most Valuable Player award in 2014. Her winning ways from college also translated to the professional ranks as she has won four WNBA championships. Maya Moore’s WNBA career has been so impressive that she was named one of the WNBA’s Top 20 Players of All Time, chosen in 2016 on the occasion of the twentieth season of the WNBA from amongst 60 nominees compiled by the league. She was only in her sixth year in the WNBA at the time of being part of that history.

In 2019, Maya Moore decided to step away from the Minnesota Lynx and the WNBA at the relatively young age of 29. She wrote about her decision on the website, The Players Tribune and has in recent months publicly explained that she is trying to get a new trial for family friend, Jonathan Irons, who is serving a 50-year sentence for a non-fatal shooting that happened when he was 16.  She believes prosecutorial misconduct led to a wrongful conviction for Irons, since no physical evidence tied him to the crime scene. She has made the rounds to publicly explain the situation and why it led to her being part of Irons’ situation and criminal justice in general during an interview on PBS. Maya Moore is showing a similar passion for fighting for discrepancies in the criminal justice system as she did on the basketball court in as an advocate using her platform in a productive way.

Staff Writer; Mark Hines

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