Four-Time WNBA Champion Maya Moore Announces Her Retirement: 'Extremely Thankful'


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WNBA legend Maya Moore is hanging up her jersey.

Moore, who the Minnesota Lynx drafted in 2011, announced her retirement during an interview with Good Morning America on Monday. The 33-year-old last played in 2018 before taking a hiatus from the league.

"It's time to put a close to the pro basketball life," she told GMA. "I walked away four seasons ago, but I wanted to officially retire."

Moore was one of the most dominant players in the WNBA during her career, earning multiple All-Star honors and leading the Lynx to four championships. She was also a member of the U.S. Olympic team that won gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

"I am extremely thankful for the opportunities that the WNBA, the Minnesota Lynx and basketball have given me in my lifetime," Moore said in a statement posted by the Lynx. "It was a dream come true for me to play basketball at the highest level and help build the foundation for women's basketball."

She added: "Ever since I was drafted in 2011, the state of Minnesota, Lynx organization and fan base welcomed me with open arms and supported me throughout my entire career."

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Maya Moore and Jonathan Irons attend the 2021 ESPY Awards
Maya Moore and Jonathan Irons attend the 2021 ESPY Awards

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images Maya Moore and Jonathon Irons

In addition to her success on the court, Moore has advocated for better pay and working conditions for WNBA players.

"Maya Moore has forever left a mark on the state of Minnesota, the Minnesota Lynx franchise and the hearts of Lynx fans everywhere," Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor said in a statement. "Maya's accolades are numerous; her leadership and talent both fearless and inspirational set the foundation for the most exciting and historic championship run in the league from 2011-2017."

"While today culminates Maya's basketball career, there is no doubt she will continue to impact the game we all love," he continued. "We wish Maya all the best and will root for her always."

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Moore stepped away from the WNBA in 2019 to focus on criminal justice reform and support Jonathan Irons, a former prisoner she helped release the following year.

When Irons was 16 years old, he was arrested for the nonfatal shooting of a white homeowner named Stanley Stotler during a burglary, despite the fact that no DNA, fingerprints, footprints, or any physical evidence ever linked him to the crime.

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He was convicted by an all-white jury on burglary and assault charges in 1998, though the judge who later vacated his conviction said there was a series of problems with how the case was handled.

Irons was given a 50-year sentence for burglary and assault at the Jefferson City Correctional Center in Missouri.

The two married shortly after Irons was released and welcomed a child in 2022.