Lynx star Maya Moore retires from WNBA four seasons after stepping away from game to free innocent man

Maya Moore officially retired from the WNBA on Monday. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Maya Moore officially retired from the WNBA on Monday. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

One of the best to ever do it is officially hanging up her sneakers. Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore announced her retirement during an appearance on "Good Morning America" on Monday.

Moore, 33, said it was "time to put a close to the pro basketball life."

It's impossible to overstate Moore's basketball accomplishments. In college, she was a standout at the University of Connecticut, leading the team to two national championships. During her time at UConn, Moore 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. She was a star immediately, making the All-Star team and winning a championship during her rookie season. In eight years in the WNBA, Moore made six All-Star teams, was the 2014 MVP and won four championships with the Lynx. In Moore's first seven seasons in the WNBA, the Lynx made it to the WNBA Finals six times.

Maya Moore walked away from WNBA to free innocent man from prison

Following the 2018 WNBA season, Moore announced she would sit out the 2019 WNBA season to focus on her family and her non-profit, "Win With Justice." While Moore sat out, she dedicated herself to freeing Jonathan Irons, who was imprisoned at 16 on a wrongful conviction. Irons spent 23 years in prison before Moore was able to free Irons in 2020.

A few months later, Irons and Moore got married. At the time, Moore said she was unsure whether she would return for the 2021 WNBA season.

Moore opted to stay away from the game, and in July 2022, announced she and Irons had their first child.

On Monday, Moore said she walked away from the WNBA four seasons ago, and was ready to officially announce her retirement. She said she wanted to be present at home and continue working with her non-profit.

Moore leaves behind a dominant and powerful WNBA legacy, one that will likely lead to her being inducted into the WNBA Hall of Fame in the near future. The league paid tribute to Moore on Monday.

Her impact off the court is even more impressive, and she's just getting started.