Maya Moore is officially calling it a career. On Monday, the two-time national champion and four-time WNBA champion announced her retirement from basketball on Good Morning America.
“I think it is time to put a close to the pro basketball life. I walked away four seasons ago but I wanted to officially retire,” she told Robin Roberts. “This is such a sweet time for us and our family and the work that we’ve done, I want to continue that in this next chapter. I want to continue to be present at home for my community, for my family.”
Moore played at UConn from 2008-12 and then spent the entirety of her eight-year WNBA career with the Minnesota Lynx. She stepped away from the sport in 2019 to focus on her personal life as well as “investing my time in some ministry dreams that have been stirring in my heart for many years.”
As it turned out, Moore used that time to help fight for the release of Jonathan Irons, a family friend who had been wrongfully imprisoned for over 20 years. In March 2020, his conviction was overturned and in July of that year, he was finally released from prison.
The two were married in September 2020 and this past July, they announced the birth of their first child.
Moore now runs a social action campaign called “Win With Justice” with the goal of educating people about “excessive power that prosecutors have in maintaining and expanding mass incarceration while inspiring the public and prosecutors to action.”
Moore arrived at UConn in 2008 and immediately established herself as one of the best players in the nation. She averaged 17.8 points and 7.6 rebounds, became the first freshman (men’s or women’s) to win Big East Player of the Year, and was the second freshman ever to earn AP First Team All-American honors.
“On a scale of one to 10, Maya Moore was a 10 from the day she walked on campus,” Geno Auriemma said on Sunday.
Over the next two years, the combination of Moore and Tina Charles helped the Huskies win back-to-back national titles in 2009 and 2010 with perfect 39-0 records each season. As a senior, Moore set the program’s single-season record for total points (868), scoring average (22.8), and field goals made (333). She’s UConn’s all-time scoring leader with 3,036 — the only player to reach the 3,000-point mark.
The Minnesota Lynx selected Moore with the No. 1 overall pick in 2011 and her success immediately carried to the next level. She won WNBA Rookie of the Year, earned MVP honors in 2014, and helped the Lynx to championships in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017. She was a five-time All-WNBA First Team selection and a five-time WNBA All-Star.
Now that Moore is officially retired, she’ll need to wait three years until she’s eligible to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. When that day inevitably comes, UConn will retire No. 23 in perpetuity.