Listen to this article here

Maya Moore, a four-time WNBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, has officially retired.

“It’s time to put a close to the pro basketball life,” Moore said on Good Morning America Monday. “I walked away four seasons ago but I wanted to officially retire.”

(AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

During her time at UConn, the two-time NCAA champ was named the Naismith College Player of the Year twice, won the John R. Wooden Award twice and was a two-time AP College Player of the Year.

She was a three-time Big East Player of the Year and was named the NCAA tournament’s most outstanding player in 2010.

In 2011, the Lynx selected Moore with the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA Draft.

Moore played her entire 8-year career in Minnesota where she led the franchise to four league championships (2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017).

Moore, 33, stepped away from the WNBA and skipped the 2020 Olympics to focus on criminal justice reform.

According to CNN, she worked on the release of Jonathan Irons, a man she helped exonerate after he served 22 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Irons’ story went viral after his 1998 conviction was overturned in March 2020, with the support of Moore and her family. 

The two married in 2020 and last year announced the February birth of their son, Jonathan Jr.

Maya Moore and Johnathon Irons attend the 2021 ESPY Awards. Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

She told the GMA crew that she is ecstatic over the opportunity to become a mother and extremely excited to be sharing this moment with Irons. 

“Delivering JJ was one of the proudest days of my life. Witnessing Jonathan be a Father, priceless.” Moore said via her Instagram account.

In her new book, Love and Justice: A Story of Triumph on Two Different Courts, Moore chronicles Irons’ wrongful imprisonment and determination to learn the legal system to try to overturn his conviction.

YouTube video

Moore also writes about her rise in basketball and meeting Irons through a family connection who was working on his case, along with love letters sent prior to his release and looks at their life since prison, including marriage and parenthood.

Her husband called the process “very traumatic” and said he talked with a counselor and found that “the more I read it the more it helped me to get through.”

He told Good Morning America, “I was able to flip a switch and say, ‘I’m not there anymore, I’m past that. I’m free.’ I just had to continually remind myself,” Irons explained.

Despite his painful past, Irons realized, “I lost a lot. And that anger and the pain is there, but I choose every day to live being grateful for each day that I have because I’m not promised tomorrow. I could still be in prison but I’m free. I want to live in that and focus on what I do have, which is beautiful. I’m married, I have a son.”

YouTube video

While Brittney Griner prepares to make her long-awaited return in the 2023 WNBA season, Maya Moore will soon join Mount Rushmore alongside hoop legends Diana Taurasi, Sheryl Swoopes, and Lisa Leslie.

WNBA Pay Gap must be closed

While Black women are often applauded for their resilience, it often comes at a sacrifice beyond their wildest dream – or nightmare.

The staggering pay gap for WNBA players forces them to be “resilient” and resourceful, making money playing overseas to supplement their low income salaries here in the states. “Resilience” costs Brittney Griner 294 days of her life.

Committed to freeing Griner, WNBA players continue to prove the adage right, “Black people have to do twice as much to get half as far.”

Moore routinely championed causes for the benefit of all, while also performing at a maestro level of play. She’s a first-ballot red carpet entrant into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame as one of the greatest overworked and underpaid justice fighters of all time.

Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...