WNBA icon Maya Moore is officially leaving basketball behind, a blow to fans who looked forward to her returning to the court.
Moore was drafted to the Minnesota Lynx in 2011. She went on to win four WNBA championships and two Olympic gold medals with the USA Basketball team. Prior to her successful professional career, Moore played four years in college, winning two NCAA titles. Moore made history as the first female player signed by Jordan Brand.
While a dominating force in the league, Moore has lent her celebrity to causes off the court, such as increasing salaries for women’s players. In 2018, at the height of her career, Moore decided to step away from basketball to focus on criminal justice reform. Her endless work helped exonerate Jonathan Irons, a man who was wrongly convicted at age 16 of shooting a white homeowner despite no DNA or physical evidence linking him to the crime. The two would eventually fall in love and wed in 2020 in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic. In February 2022, they welcomed a son together. While many have held out hope that Moore would eventually play again, she has confirmed that she’s starting a new chapter.
“It’s time to put a close to the pro basketball life,” she told Good Morning America. “I walked away four seasons ago, but I wanted to officially retire.”
Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor commended Moore in a statement following her retirement news. He is certain her impact will live on for generations of players to come.
Moore’s next phase in life will consist of focusing on her family and continuing the community work that she has grown to love so passionately.