Maya Moore, a basketball legend who won four WNBA championships and two gold medals, announced her retirement from the sport at age 33 on Monday.
Moore announced her decision on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” The former Minnesota Lynx star left the WNBA to help her now-husband Jonathan Irons win his release from prison by getting his 50-year sentence overturned in 2020. The two married after his release and the couple had their first child in July.
“Well, I think it’s time to put a close to the pro basketball life,” she said. “I walked away four seasons ago but wanted to officially retire. This is such a sweet time for us and our family. The work we’ve done, I want to continue that in our next chapter. Be home for my community and family.”
Moore told reporters after the TV appearance she was too focused on her off-court priorities and playing basketball wasn’t on her mind.
“Just trying to learn a new rhythm outside of playing — I didn’t really wrestle with a desire to want to switch that pace up,” she said, adding “I wasn’t just sitting around wishing I was playing again. I just felt such a sense of purpose.”
The Lynx selected Moore with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft. She was a four-time All-American, three-time Wade Trophy winner and two-time NCAA champion with Connecticut before she turned pro.
Moore guided the Lynx to four championships. She was a six-time All-Star and was the 2014 WNBA MVP. In her final season with the Lynx, she averaged 18 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
“On behalf of the Minnesota Lynx organization, I want to congratulate Maya on an incredible basketball career,” Lynx coach and president of basketball operations Cheryl Reeve said. “We will always cherish her time in a Lynx uniform and we wish her the best as she continues to pursue this next chapter of her life.”
She will be eligible for the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2024.
“Her four WNBA championships, six All-Star selections, an MVP award and a Finals MVP trophy are indicative of the type of rare, generational talent Maya brought to this league, but perhaps her greatest legacy will be what she accomplished beyond the game,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.