Maya Moore

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Maya Moore
Maya Moore speaking at the Marshall Project in Washington DC (48751715837) (cropped).jpg
Moore in 2019
Personal information
Born (1989-06-11) June 11, 1989 (age 33)[1]
Jefferson City, Missouri, US
Listed height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Listed weight175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High schoolCollins Hill (Suwanee, Georgia)
CollegeUConn (2007–2011)
WNBA draft2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Minnesota Lynx
Playing career2011–2018
PositionSmall forward
Career history
20112018Minnesota Lynx
2011–2012Ros Casares Valencia
2012–2016Shanxi Flame
2018UMMC Ekaterinburg
Career highlights and awards
Stats at

Maya April Moore (born June 11, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for the Minnesota Lynx, who is currently on sabbatical. Naming her their inaugural Performer of the Year in 2017, Sports Illustrated called Moore the greatest winner in the history of women's basketball.[2]

In high school, Moore was the National Gatorade Player of the Year, the Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year, and a McDonald's All-American. She played forward for the UConn women's basketball team and won back to back national championships in 2009 and 2010. She was selected as the John Wooden Award winner in 2009 after leading Connecticut to an undefeated national championship. The following season, Moore led Connecticut to its second straight national championship and continued its overall undefeated streak at 78; in the 2010–11 season, she led the Huskies in extending that streak to an NCAA both-gender record (all divisions) of 90. That season, Moore became the first female basketball player to sign with Air Jordan.[3] After the 2017 season, her win–loss record in the U.S. since high school was 497–78.[4]

Moore was the first overall pick in the 2011 WNBA draft and joined a Minnesota Lynx team that already featured all-star caliber players in Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, and Lindsay Whalen. Moore has won four WNBA championships (2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017), a WNBA Most Valuable Player Award (2014),[5] a WNBA Finals MVP Award (2013),[6] three WNBA All-Star Game MVPs (2015, 2017, and 2018), two Olympic gold medals (2012 and 2016), a WNBA Scoring Title (2014), and the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award (2011).[7] She has also been selected to four WNBA All-Star teams and three All-WNBA teams. The relative timing of the seasons of the WNBA and the top leagues in other countries has allowed Moore to compete throughout the year. In 2012, she won both the Spanish league title and EuroLeague title playing for Ros Casares Valencia. From 2013 to 2015, Moore also won the Chinese league title every year. Moore won a second Euroleague title playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg in 2018.

Moore is one of 11 women to receive an Olympic gold medal, an NCAA Championship, a Fiba World cup gold and a WNBA Championship.

Since 2019, Moore has taken a hiatus from her WNBA career to focus on reform in the American justice system.

Moore was included in Time's 100 Most Influential People of 2020.[8]

Early life[edit]

Moore was born on June 11, 1989, in Jefferson City, Missouri. She is the daughter of Kathryn Moore. [9] Moore had her first exposure to basketball at the age of three when her mother mounted a hoop on the back door of their apartment. She attended Moreau Heights Elementary School as a child.[10][citation needed]

High school career[edit]

Moore attended Collins Hill High School in Gwinnett County, near Suwanee, Georgia. Moore was a four-year starter at Collins Hill High School, where she had a 125–3 record with the Eagles. Moore was named to the USA Today Freshman and Sophomore All-America Teams. During her junior year in 2005–06, averaged 23.2 points, 11.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 5.4 steals as a junior at Collins Hill. Moore was named the Naismith Prep Player of the Year. She was only the second junior to win the Naismith award[11] Her first dunk was one-handed off an alley-oop pass in warm-ups at a dunk contest in Charlotte, NC in December 2005. She was 16 at the time.[12]

As a senior, she averaged 25.5 points, 12.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 4.3 steals. In December 2006, she led the Collins Hill Eagles over Poly (Long Beach, California) by a score of 75–61, resulting in her being selected unanimously as the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament of Champions in Chandler, Arizona. In the title game of the "T-Mobile Invitational" in Seattle, she scored 48 points in a win over St. Elizabeth. Moore helped lead her high school to four consecutive state championships appearances, including three Georgia state titles and the 2007 National Championship. Moore is a three-time Georgia 5A Player of the Year and 2007 Miss Georgia Basketball. Moore finished as Collins High School's all-time leader in points (2,664) rebounds (1,212), assists (407) and steals (467).[13]

In addition to basketball, she also participated in track and field. Moore finished as the runner-up in the high jump at the 2005 Georgia State 5A Championships. She was also an excellent student, as she graduated from high school with a 4.0 grade point average. Moore was the recipient of the Atlanta Journal Cup. Moore announced that she would play college basketball at the University of Connecticut. Moore is only the second player to win the Naismith Prep Player of the Year Award following both junior and senior prep seasons, joining Candace Parker. Moore is also a two-time Parade Magazine First Team All-America, three-time Georgia 5A Player of the Year, three-time Street & Smith All-America Team selection, four-time Georgia Class 5A All-State First Team selection, and a member of the 2006 Sports Illustrated All-America Team. Moore received several awards for her performance her senior year, including the 2007 WBCA National Player of the Year, 2007 Parade Magazine All-America of the Year, and 2007 Morgan Wootten Award Winner which is presented to the McDonald's All-America Player of the Year.[13]

Season Games PPG RPG APG SPG
2004–2005 32 19.4 8.6 3.1 2.8
2005–2006 32 23.2 11.3 4.6 5.4
2006-2007 34 25.5 12.1 4.0 4.3

High school totals[edit]

Number of Seasons Games PPG RPG SPG
4 128 19.3 8.6 3.5

Time with the Georgia Metros[edit]

Maya Moore played for the Georgia Metros 16U Nike Travel Team in both 2005 and 2006. The Georgia Metros went 73–6 in those two travel seasons, and Maya led them to four National Championships: The AAU 16U National Championship in Orlando (where she was the MVP, as a 15-year-old) in 2005; the US Junior Nationals Championship in DC, twice, in both 2005 and 2006; and the Nike Nationals Championship in 2006. Notable teammates while with the Georgia Metros included Kelly Cain (Tennessee), Ashley Houts (Georgia), Alicia Manning (Tennessee), Morgan Toles (Auburn/FSU), Charenee Stephens (South Carolina), Taylor Turnbow (LSU), Jordan Greenleaf (Auburn), and D'Andra Moss (VCU).

University of Connecticut career[edit]

Freshman year[edit]

Moore led the Huskies to a 36–2 record in the 2007–08 NCAA season, their best record since their Final Four appearance of 2004. During the season, Moore averaged a team-high 17.8 points per game, and hit 42% of her three-point shots. Moore was second on the team in rebounds with 7.6 per game and blocks with 1.6 per game. She tallied double-figure points 36 times as a freshman, including 13 20-plus point games. Moore posted 11 double-doubles and set UConn freshman records for points (678), field goals (275), and three-point field goals (73), while ranking among the top five on the rookie charts for scoring average (tied/4th – 13.8 ppg.), rebounds (2nd – 290), assists (5th – 116), steals (tied/6th – 63), and blocks (3rd – 59). Her 678 points set the UConn single-season record for most points as a freshman, breaking the mark set by Svetlana Abrosimova, who had 538 in 1997–98, and besting Tamara James' (Miami, Fla.) previous BIG EAST Freshman record of 650. She tied Diana Taurasi's record of 31 consecutive games in double figures. Moore ranked sixth among BIG EAST scoring leaders at 17.8 ppg, 11th among BIG-EAST rebounding leaders at 7.6 rpg, finished in seventh place among BIG-EAST field goal percentage leaders at .543, and ranked fifth among BIG EAST's leaders in three-point field goal percentage at .420.

Moore was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week a conference record 10 times, passing former UConn standout Rebecca Lobo (7) for most selections in BIG EAST history. Moore became the first freshman in BIG EAST history to be recognized as Player of the Week. On March 4, she was also named Freshman of the Week, marking the first time the conference weekly honors have been swept by the same player. She was second to Candace Parker in the Associated Press Player of the Year voting and was the first freshman, male or female, to be named the Big East Player of the Year. Moore was the second freshman in history to be named to the Associated Press All-America First Team, USBWA All-America First Team. She was selected as USBWA National Freshman of the Year, named as the unanimous choice for Big East Freshman of the Year, and was a 2008 All-Big East First Team choice. She is the first freshman in UConn history to be named an All-American.

Sophomore year[edit]

Moore playing in 2009 for UConn

Moore continued her stellar play in her sophomore year. She averaged 21.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 2.3 blocks while shooting .625 (25-of-40) from the field en route to earning 2009 BIG EAST Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors. Moore became the fastest player to reach the 1,000-point milestone in UConn history, doing so in her 55th career game with 40 points vs. Syracuse and became the second UConn player to score 40 or more points in a game, while she also broke the UConn and BIG EAST records for made three-point field goals with 10, while grabbing 13 rebounds for her eighth double-double against the Orange, put together third double-double in last four games with 18 points and 12 rebounds in win over DePaul (1/13). By the end of her sophomore year, she was named the AP Player of the year, only the second time in history a sophomore has won the honor. The other recipient was Oklahoma's Courtney Paris.

Moore earned Big East Player of the Year for the second straight year and was a unanimous 2008–09 All-Big East 1st team selection. Moore won almost all the possible National Player of the Year awards, including the John R. Wooden Award, Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year, USBWA National Player of the Year, Naismith College Player of the Year, ESPY for Top Female College Athlete and National Player of the Year. Moore averaged a team-high 22.2 points per game during UConn's five-game march through the NCAA Tournament. Moore was named the NCAA Trenton Regional Most Outstanding Player. She helped lead her team to an undefeated 39–0 season and the 2009 National Championship, and was named to the 2009 NCAA Final Four All-Tournament team.

Junior year[edit]

Moore played in all 39 Husky victories and started 38 times. She led the team and ranked No. 22 nationally at 18.9 points per game, while she was second on the team with 8.3 rebounds per contest and registered a team-high 150 assists (3.8 apg.). Moore also led the squad with 82 steals and was second with 40 rejections. She posted a team-best 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio, which was the 19th-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the country. A scoring threat from virtually anywhere, Moore led the team with 80 3-point field goals made and recorded double-digit scoring in all but one game and tallied at least 20 points on 19 occasions, while she registered double-digit rebounds 14 times and double-digit defensive rebounds three times.[citation needed]

Moore ranked in the top-12 of 10 BIG EAST statistical categories. She was No. 1 in points per game, No. 6 in rebounds per game, No. 6 in assists per game, No. 3 in 3-point field goal percentage and No. 1 in assist-to-turnover ratio. She also posted 14 double-doubles. Moore was selected to the Associated Press All-America First Team, BIG EAST All-Tournament Team, All-BIG EAST First Team, CoSIDA Academic All-District I First Team. She was the named the NCAA Dayton Regional Most Outstanding Player, BIG EAST Scholar Athlete of the Year, ESPY for Top Female College Athlete, and ESPN The Magazine Academic All- American of the Year. She helped lead her team to a second straight undefeated 39–0 season and the 2010 National Championship, and was named to the 2010 NCAA Final Four All-Tournament team.[citation needed]

Senior year[edit]

In her final year at UConn, Moore had an impressive season, tying her career high in steals (6) and field goal attempts (26) against the Baylor Lady Bears. Moore became UConn's all-time scoring leader with 17 points against Sacred Heart on December 5. Moore scored a career-high 41 points on 15-of-24 shooting in UConn's 89th straight win, a collegiate basketball record, vs. Florida State on December 21. Moore eclipsed 3,000 points vs. Duke on March 29 en route to being named the Most Outstanding Player of the Philadelphia Regional. Moore scored a game-high 36 points and snared eight rebounds in UConn's National Semifinal loss to Notre Dame on April 3.

During the 2010–2011 season Moore posted career highs in scoring (22.3 ppg), assists (4.1 apg) and steals (2.2 spg), sweeping all possible individual honors: she won her 2nd Naismith College Player of the Year award, her 3rd straight Wade Trophy (only player in history – freshmen are not eligible for this award), her 2nd Associated Press Women's College Basketball Player of the Year award and her 2nd USBWA Women's National Player of the Year award; she was also voted Big East Player of The Year (3rd time) and a fourth straight unanimous First-Team All-American in WBCA, USBWA and AP polls (second player ever after Oklahoma's Courtney Paris).

In her college career Moore won 150 games and only lost 4, amassing a total 3036 points (1st Husky ever and 4th all-time in NCAA division I women's basketball), 1276 rebounds (2nd Husky ever), 310 steals (3rd Husky ever), 544 assists (6th Husky ever) and 204 blocks (4th Husky ever); she is the only women's basketball player in Division I history to record 2500 points, 1000 rebounds, 500 assists, 250 steals and 150 blocked shots. On February 28 she was enshrined in the Huskies of Honor (3rd time ever for an active player).

Moore was also an impressive college student: she graduated with a 3.7 GPA, earning the Elite 88 Award, and was named Cosida Academic All-America First-Team in 2009, 2010 and 2011, Cosida Academic All-America of the Year in 2010 and 2011 (1st player to ever repeat) and All-sports Academic All-America of the Year in 2011.

After graduation Moore was selected by the Minnesota Lynx as the 1st overall pick in the 2011 WNBA draft (4th time for a Husky), also becoming the first female basketball player signed to the Jordan Brand.[14]

Connecticut statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Year Team GP Points FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2007–08 Connecticut 38 678 .543 .420 .743 7.6 3.1 1.7 1.6 17.8
2008–09 Connecticut 39 754 .521 .398 .780 8.9 3.3 1.9 1.5 19.3
2009–10 Connecticut 39 736 .515 .417 .790 8.3 3.8 2.1 1.0 18.9
2010–11 Connecticut 38 868 .524 .384 .843 8.2 4.0 2.3 1.2 22.8
Career 154 3,036 .525 .404 .798 8.3 3.5 2.0 1.3 19.7


Professional career[edit]

Maya Moore's professional career, like her high school and college career, has been filled with championships. In her first three years, she made three WNBA finals, one Eurobasket final, and two WCBA finals, and won five of the six possible championships she could have. Along the way, she has established herself as one of the best professional women's players in the game. In 2015, she won the WNBA All-Star MVP award. This makes her one of only two players, the other being Lisa Leslie, who have won the MVP award for the WNBA regular-season, the WNBA finals, and the All-Star game.[16]

2011: Rookie season and first championship[edit]

Moore (top) and forward Taj McWilliams-Franklin in 2011 victory parade

Moore was selected 1st overall in the 2011 WNBA draft by the Minnesota Lynx.[17] She joined a team that already featured talented players like Lindsay Whalen, Rebekkah Brunson, and Seimone Augustus, and helped the Lynx to their best record in franchise history, as well as the best record in the WNBA.[18] Moore was named WNBA Rookie of the Month for July and August, and played in the WNBA All-Star Game.[19][20] Though Moore admitted that she struggled at times to adapt to the extraordinary level of talent in the WNBA, her play still earned her Rookie of the Year honors.[21]

During the playoffs, Moore was her team's second-leading scorer. She led her team in scoring once, in the final game of the Western Conference finals, when she poured in 21 points, including six three-pointers.[22] In October 2011, Maya became only the second player in league history to win Rookie of the Year honors and a WNBA championship in the same year.[23][24]

2012–2013: More championship contention and Finals MVP season[edit]

Moore handling the ball in a 2012 home game.

In 2012, Moore helped the Lynx begin the season with a 10–0 run, the best start in WNBA history.[25] The Lynx went on to equal 2011's 27–7 mark, finishing as the top seed in the WNBA Playoffs for a second straight year. The Lynx advanced to the 2012 WNBA Finals, for the second straight season, but fell to the Indiana Fever. In 2013, Moore elevated her game, she led the Lynx in points, and became the first player in WNBA history to lead the league in both three-point field goals and three-point shooting percentage.[26] Moore was twice selected WNBA Western Conference Player of the Month, and three times selected WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week. Meanwhile, the Lynx once again had the best record in the WNBA, finishing 26–8. The Lynx swept through the playoffs, winning their second WNBA championship. Moore was named WNBA Finals MVP, leading her team in scoring two of the three games in the Finals.

2014: MVP season[edit]

In the fourth game of the 2014 season, Moore set a new WNBA record by scoring 30 or more points in four consecutive games. On July 22, 2014, Maya scored a career-high 48 points, the second highest single-game total in WNBA history.[27] She also had another 40-point game just a week later. She then set a WNBA record by scoring 30+ points in twelve games in one season. She would end up averaging a career-high 23.9 points per game and for the first time in her career, Moore won the WNBA Most Valuable Player Award. Minnesota entered the playoffs as the number 2 seed in the Western Conference. They had a record of 25–9, the 2nd best record in the Western Conference and also the entire WNBA. They played the number 3 seed of the Western Conference, the San Antonio Stars, in the Western Conference Semifinals. The Lynx swept the Stars 2–0. Then they faced the number 1 overall seeded Phoenix Mercury in the Western Conference Finals. They lost Game 1 85–71, as Maya scored fewer than 10 points for the first and only time the entire season. But in Game 2, she rebounded with 32 points and led her team to an 82–77 victory. They played in Phoenix for the 3rd and final game, and lost 96–78, failing to make the WNBA Finals for the 1st time in 4 seasons.

2015: All-Star MVP season and third championship[edit]

Maya Moore at the 2015 All-Star game, where she won the MVP award

Prior to the 2015 season, Moore re-signed with the Lynx to a multi-year deal once her rookie contract expired.[28] In the 2015 season, Moore was named to the 2015 WNBA All-Star Game and was awarded MVP after scoring a WNBA All-Star Game record, 30 points.[29] Midway through the season, the Lynx had traded for Sylvia Fowles to bolster the Lynx's roster at the center position. The Lynx were first place in the Western Conference, advanced all the way to the finals and won its third WNBA championship in five years by beating the Indiana Fever, three games to two. One of the memorable highlights of the finals was in Game 3 where Moore hit a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer. She was also named to the All-WNBA First Team in 2015.[30]

2016–2017: Finals loss and fourth championship[edit]

In 2016, Moore was chosen to the WNBA Top 20@20, a list of the league's best 20 players ever in celebration of the WNBA's twentieth anniversary. She was the youngest of the 20 winners.[31] During the 2016 season, Moore averaged 19.3 points per game and the Lynx remained a potent, championship contending team, finishing with a new franchise best 28–6 record. With the WNBA's new playoff format in effect, the Lynx were the number 1 seed in the league with a double-bye to the semi-finals (the last round before the WNBA Finals) facing the Phoenix Mercury. The Lynx defeated the Mercury in a 3-game sweep, advancing to the WNBA Finals for the fifth time in six years. The Lynx were up against the Los Angeles Sparks, making it the second time in league history where two teams from the same conference faced each other in the Finals due to the new playoff format. During a loss in Game 1, Moore passed Diana Taurasi for most points scored in WNBA Finals history (262).[32] Facing a 2–1 deficit, Moore took over in Game 4, scoring a game-high 31 points to lead the Lynx to an 85–79 win, forcing a Game 5. The Lynx would end up losing Game 5 77–76 off a game-winning shot by Nneka Ogwumike as the Sparks became 2016 WNBA Champions.

Moore during the Lynx's championship-clinching game 5 of the 2017 WNBA Finals

In the 2017 season, Moore was voted into the 2017 WNBA All-Star Game, making it her fifth all-star game appearance. Moore won her second All-Star MVP award after scoring a team-high 23 points for the Western Conference All-Stars team in a 130–121 victory.[33] With Fowles being the more focal point of the Lynx's offense, Moore would be the second highest scoring player on the team with 17.3 ppg. On August 12, 2017, the Lynx made history as they defeated the Indiana Fever 111–52, marking it the largest margin of victory in WNBA history, they also exploded on a league record 40–0 scoring run during the game.[34] The Lynx once again finished as the number 1 seed in the league with a 27–7 record, receiving a double-bye to the semi-finals. In the semi-finals, the Lynx defeated the Washington Mystics in a 3-game sweep, advancing to the WNBA Finals for the sixth time in seven years, setting up a rematch with the Sparks. The Lynx would avenge the previous season's Finals loss, defeating the Sparks in five games to win their fourth WNBA championship in seven years, tying the now-defunct Houston Comets for most championship titles.

2018–present: New challenges[edit]

On July 22, 2018, Moore scored a season-high 38 points in an 80–75 victory over the Mercury.[35] In the 2018 season, Moore was voted into the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game and would win her third All-Star MVP award, after leading Team Parker to a 119–112 victory with 18 points.[36] Moore led the team in scoring with 18 ppg as the Lynx finished with number 7 seed with an 18–16 record. This was first time in 8 years where the Lynx did not finish as a top 2 seed in the league. They would face off against the Los Angeles Sparks in the first round elimination game, they lost 75–68, ending their run of three consecutive finals appearances.

In February 2019, Moore wrote for The Players' Tribune that she would miss the upcoming season to focus on family and ministry dreams.[37] In January 2020, she announced that she would once again miss the upcoming WNBA season as well as the 2020 Olympic games in order to focus on her advocacy for criminal justice reform.[38][39]

WNBA career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game  RPG  Rebounds per game
 APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
 TO  Turnovers per game  FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 Bold  Career high ° League leader
Denotes seasons in which Moore won a WNBA championship

Regular season[edit]

2011 Minnesota 34 34 29.0 .439 .369 .787 4.6 2.6 1.4 0.5 1.4 13.2
2012 Minnesota 34 34 29.7 .465 .388 .879 6.0 3.6 1.5 0.6 1.8 16.4
2013 Minnesota 34 34 31.4 .509 .453° .882 6.2 3.0 1.7 1.0 1.7 18.5
2014 Minnesota 34 34 34.7 .481 .335 .884 8.1 3.4 1.9 0.8 2.4 23.9°
2015 Minnesota 33 33 33.4 .420 .359 .855 6.7 3.5 1.6 0.7 2.3 20.6
2016 Minnesota 34 34 29.7 .448 .404 .868 5.1 4.2 1.5 0.7 2.3 19.3
2017 Minnesota 34 34 31.3 .442 .411 .858 5.0 3.5 1.8 0.4 1.7 17.3
2018 Minnesota 34 34 31.8 .423 .365 .833 5.1 2.6 1.7° 0.3 1.7 18.0
Career 8 years, 1 team 271 271 31.2 .453 .384 .860 5.9 3.3 1.7 0.6 1.9 18.4


2011 Minnesota 8 8 27.9 .458 .400 .690 5.9 2.3 1.0 0.6 1.8 13.8
2012 Minnesota 9 9 33.0 .429 .433 .913 5.2 2.8 1.0 0.6 1.7 16.6
2013 Minnesota 7 7 32.7 .531 .400 .882 5.3 2.7 1.6 0.4 1.4 20.9
2014 Minnesota 5 5 36.0 .440 .333 1.000 6.0 5.4 2.8 1.6 2.4 19.8
2015 Minnesota 10 10 36.1 .419 .349 .868 7.3 2.6 2.3 1.1 2.8 23.4
2016 Minnesota 8 8 32.9 .517 .387 .935 7.3 4.6 1.8 0.5 2.7 22.4
2017 Minnesota 8 8 33.4 .515 .542 .730 5.3 3.0 1.8 0.4 1.9 18.3
2018 Minnesota 1 1 35.2 .400 .250 .200 4.0 3.0 2.0 0.0 2.0 14.0
Career 8 years, 1 team 56 56 33.2 .467 .399 .845 6.0 3.2 1.7 0.7 2.1 19.2

Overseas career[edit]

2011–2012: EuroLeague and Spanish champions[edit]

Moore signed with the Spanish club Ros Casares Valencia for the 2011–2012 season. She joined the team late due to her title run with the Lynx.

In 10 EuroLeague Women games, Moore averaged 12.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists, helping Ros Casares win its first ever EuroLeague championship on April 1, 2012.[40]

Three weeks later, Ros Casares also won the Spanish domestic league (Liga Femenina de Baloncesto) title, with Moore scoring a team-high 20 points in the April 24 final.[41] The win over Perfumerías Avenida also revenged the March loss in the Copa de la Reina (Queen's Cup) final, when Moore scored a game-high 24.[42]

Moore defending an inbound pass during a January 2014 WCBA game in Shanghai.

2012–2015: 3-peats in China[edit]

In 2012, Moore signed with the Chinese club Shanxi Flame, playing under Spanish coach Lucas Mondelo.[43] It was the club's first year in the Women's Chinese Basketball Association, and they started the season 0–2 with American import Ebony Hoffman. As soon as Moore arrived and replaced Hoffman (since the league only allows 1 non-Asian player per team), the team won 10 in a row.[44] In her third game, she had 60 points, 13 rebounds, 6 blocks and 5 steals against Yunnan.[45] Moore finished her first season in Shanxi averaging 37.3 points, 12.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.5 steals per game, leading the Flame to the championship in a 3–1 series over Zhejiang.[46][47]

In Moore's second year with Shanxi, she again took her team to the finals, averaging 43.3 points per game in a 3–1 series win over Beijing. It was Moore's fifth professional championship in three years.[48] For the season she averaged 39.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 4.3 steals per game.[49]

In the 2014–2015 season, Shanxi won its third straight title, beating the Brittney Griner-led Beijing 3–1 in the finals after dropping the first game.[50] She averaged 30.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.6 steals per game for the season[49] while fighting a knee injury.[51]

Despite the language barrier Moore is well-liked in Shanxi, not solely for her on-court dominance but also for her humility and friendly interactions with fans,[52] who called her the "Invincible Queen" (不败女王).[47] For her contributions to the city, she was awarded "Honorary Citizen of Taiyuan" by Taiyuan's municipal government.[53]

2018: Return to the EuroLeague and Second Championship[edit]

On January 2, 2018, Russian basketball club UMMC Ekaterinburg announced that Maya Moore had joined their team for the remainder of the 2017/2018 EuroLeague season.[54] Moore would go on to average 20.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 5.2 assists with UMMC.[55] UMMC would win each of their final six games of the regular season.[56] On April 22, UMMC won the EuroLeague Championship, with Moore scoring 17 points, dishing out 7 assists, and recording 4 steals in the final game.[57]

National team career[edit]

Moore was invited to the USA Basketball Women's National Team training camp in the fall of 2009, one of only three college players and the only junior to be invited to the training camp.[58] The team selected to participate at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Olympics was chosen from these players. At the conclusion of the training camp, the team traveled to Ekaterinburg, Russia, where they competed in the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational.[58]

Moore was one of twenty players named to the national team pool. Twelve of this group were chosen to represent the US at the 2010 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics.[59]

Moore playing for the USA national team against the Select team.
Moore playing for the USA Select team against the USA national team.

The USA National team began training in April 2010 to prepare for the FIBA World Championship starting in September 2010. Moore was one of the players selected for the training sessions, run by the national team coach Geno Auriemma. The teams played informal scrimmages, with one team made up of the players expected to be on the national team, and the other team made up of invited all-star college players, referred to as the select team. Although Moore was still in college, she was invited to be part of the national team. In the first two ten-minute games, Moore played with the national team and helped them to two wins. Then Moore switched jerseys, and played for the select team. In both games, the select team won, with Moore making the assist to put the team ahead, then stealing the ball and making the game winning shot in the final seconds. Moore ended up being on the winning side in all four games.[60]

Moore was named as one of the national team members to represent the USA Basketball team in the WNBA versus USA Basketball.[61] This game replaced the WNBA All-Star game with WNBA All-Stars versus USA Basketball, as part of the preparation for the FIBA World Championship for Women to be held in the Czech Republic during September and October 2010. Moore was selected to be a member of the National team representing the US at the World Championship. The team was coached by Geno Auriemma. Because many team members were still playing in the WNBA until just prior to the event, the team had only one day of practice with the entire team before leaving for Ostrava and Karlovy Vary. Even with limited practice, the team managed to win its first game against Greece by 26 points. The team continued to dominate with victory margins exceeding 20 points in the first five games. Several players shared scoring honors, with Swin Cash, Angel McCoughtry, Moore, Diana Taurasi, Lindsay Whalen, and Sylvia Fowles all ending as high scorer in the first few games. The sixth game was against undefeated Australia — the US jumped out to a 24-point lead and ultimatelynprevailed 83–75. Team USA won its next two games by over 30 points, then faced the host team, the Czech Republic, in the championship game. The US team had only a five-point lead at halftime, which was then cut to three points, but the Czechs never got closer. Team USA went on to win the championship and gold medal. Moore averaged 8.7 points per game.[62]

Moore in the 2012 Olympics

Moore was one of 21 finalists for the 2012 U.S. Women's Olympic Basketball Team Roster. The 20 WNBA players, plus one collegiate player (Brittney Griner), were selected by the USA Basketball Women's National Team Player Selection Committee to compete for the final roster to represent the US at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.[63] Moore won a gold medal with Team USA in 2012, in doing so joining Sheryl Swoopes, Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, Ruth Riley, Tamika Catchings and fellow UConn alums Kara Wolters, Swin Cash, Sue Bird, and Diana Taurasi on the elite list of female basketball players to have won NCAA titles, WNBA Championships and Olympic gold medals.

Moore was one of 33 finalists for the U.S. Women's FIBA World Championship roster. The 32 WNBA players, plus one collegiate player (Breanna Stewart), were selected by the USA Basketball Women's National Team Player Selection Committee to compete for the final roster to represent the US at the FIBA World Championship for Women in Turkey during September and October 2014. Moore made the final roster of 12 players, announced on September 23, 2014.[64] Moore won the gold medal with the team in 2014, having now won 3 gold medals with the U.S. team. She was named to the all-tournament team and won the tournament MVP award.

USA Basketball named Moore to the squad that would play at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which would be her second Olympic tournament.[65] Moore earned her second gold medal, helping the US overcome Spain 101–72 in the final.

Personal life[edit]

Moore is a Christian. Moore has spoken about her faith, saying "Even though I've got a lot of awards and honors, it's nothing compared to what The Lord has done to my heart and what He's done for the world" and "I'm grateful to have the platform of an elite student-athlete and professional basketball player, and I want to do His will with my life."[66][67]

Influenced by her godparents, Moore advocates for prosecutorial reform in the American justice system. Specifically, she pressed for the release of Jonathan Irons from the Jefferson City correctional center.[68] Irons was serving a 50-year sentence begun when he was 16 years old. Moore took a sabbatical from basketball in 2019 and 2020, hoping to secure his release.[69] Irons was released July 1, 2020.[70][71] In September 2020, Moore told Good Morning America that she and Irons had gotten married "a couple of months ago".[72] On July 5, 2022, Moore announced the birth of their first child, a son named Jonathan Irons Jr.

Moore is also an advocate for the End it Movement which seeks to end slavery in modern times.[73]

Moore was the subject of an ESPN Sports Science video clip, discussing her vertical leap, court vision, and muscle memory. They discussed her ability to steal, noting that she can move her hands faster than the striking speed of a rattlesnake.[74]

On October 28, 2013, Moore was featured as Betty Lou in the Pepsi Max series of advertisements written and directed by Kyrie Irving, becoming the first WNBA player to be a part of the series.[75] In the "Uncle Drew: Chapter 3" spot, Betty Lou, 'Lights' (Nate Robinson), and 'Uncle Drew' (Irving) hustle a courtyard of young players at Seward Park in Chicago, Illinois.[75]

Moore was named to Forbes' 30 Under 30: The Sports World's Brightest Young Stars for 2015.[76]

In November 2016, Moore joined the UNICEF Kid Power philanthropic initiative, participating as one of the UNICEF Kid Power Champions; Moore joined a mission to Haiti that year.[77]

Moore's father, Mike Dabney, who was not part of her life growing up, played collegiate basketball for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights men's basketball team that reached the Final Four at the 1976 NCAA Division I basketball tournament. He was chosen 36th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the third round of the 1976 NBA draft, though he did not play in the NBA.[78] Through her father, Moore has a half-sister, Ashley Dabney, who was a college senior and track and field athlete at Maryland's Towson University in 2012.[79] Also through her father, Moore has a ten-years younger half-sister, Olivia Dabney,[80] who was a high school sophomore and basketball player at New Jersey's Rutgers Preparatory School in 2014–2015, and was a state All-Sophomore/Freshman First Team selection that season.[81]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • She was named to the U.S. U-18 National Team in 2006, and helped that team qualify for the 2007 U19 World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia.
  • In 2008, she became the first freshman in Big East Basketball history (men or women) to be named as the Big East Player of the Year.
  • Through Moore's two seasons at UConn, Moore had only three games where she did not reach double digits. Those games are a 7-point performance vs. Pittsburgh on March 10, 2008, 7 points vs. Rutgers on April 1, 2008, and 8 points vs. Villanova on February 24, 2009.
  • Moore also broke the UConn single-season record for most points as a freshman (678) breaking the mark set by Svetlana Abrosimova, who had 538 in 1997–98.
  • Scored her 1,000th career point on January 20, 2009 (in just her 55th game at UConn) at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut while scoring 40 points over the Syracuse Orange. The previous UConn record for the fewest games needed to reach 1,000 points was 63 by Svetlana Abrosimova.
  • Maya Moore becomes UConn's all-time single-season scoring leader with 712 points,[82] ends season with 754 points[83]
  • Moore finished the 2009–10 season with 736 points, the second most points scored in a season by a UConn player only to herself (754 pts in 2008–09). In addition, this brings her career total to 2,168 points, 178 short of the UConn record of 2,346 points held by her teammate Tina Charles.
  • Moore was named the co-winner of the Honda-Broderick Cup (along with Megan Hodge from Penn State), awarded to the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. The criteria include "outstanding athletic achievement but also team contributions, scholastics and community involvement".[84][85]
  • Moore won the 2010 ESPY Award for Best Female College Athlete.[86]
  • Moore was selected to play in a basketball game organized by President Barack Obama to entertain wounded troops. The players invited included some current and former stars: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Bill Russell and Magic Johnson.[87][88]
  • Moore scored a career-high 41 points while adding 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 3 blocks in UConn's historic 89th consecutive victory on December 21, 2010, against 22/22 Florida State.
  • In March 2011, Moore earned All-American honors, becoming the second four-time All-American women's basketball player.
  • In April 2011, Moore was named Associated Press Player of the Year for the second time.
Maya Moore accepting the Wade trophy for the best NCAA Division I player in the USA
  • Moore was selected Best Female Amateur Athlete by Connecticut Magazine for 2010
  • Won a gold medal with Team USA in the London Olympics
  • Over the course of her career, Moore has been invited to receive honors at the White House five times, prompting President Obama to joke that "basically, there's like a Maya Moore wing in the White House."[89]


  • Naismith National Girls' High School Player of the Year
  • WBCA High School Coaches' All-America Team
  • WBCA High School Game MVP (Red team)[90]



Maya Moore
Maya Moore in Parade celebrating UConn undefeated National Championship
Moore at the 2016 WNBA Finals






  • WNBA Western Conference Player of the Month for May 2014
  • WCBA Champion
  • ESPY for Best WNBA Player
  • 2014 WNBA All-Star
  • WNBA Western Conference Player of the Month for July 2014
  • FIBA Gold Medalist, Women's Basketball
  • MVP of FIBA World Championships for Women[112]
  • Named one of ESPNW's Impact 25.[113]



  • ESPY for Best WNBA Player
  • All-WNBA First Team
  • Olympic Gold Medalist


  • WNBA Champion
  • All-WNBA First Team
  • WNBA All-Defensive Second Team
  • Western Conference All-Star
  • WNBA All-Star Game MVP


See also[edit]


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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]