Four-time WNBA victor and women's basketball celebrity Maya Moore will sit from this 2020 WNBA year to help free a captive who believes was convicted of burglary and assault, based on reporting from The New York Times.
Moore told The New York Times in a story published Wednesday of her choice to stay off the court for 2020.
"I'm really good in my life right now and I don't want to change anything", Moore told the New York Times.
Moore met Irons in 2017 while visiting Missouri's Jefferson City Correctional Center.
"Over the previous year we have been in frequent contact with Maya around the great work in criminal justice reform and ministry in which she is fully engaged", Lynx Coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve said in a statement Wednesday.
Moore's friend, Jonathan Irons, is believed by her to be wrongfully convicted in a crime in which he was sentenced to 50-years in prison. "We are proud of the ways that Maya is advocating for justice and using her platform to impact social change", Cheryl Reeve, head coach and general manager for the Lynx, said in a statement. The homeowner testified that Irons was the person who assaulted him, but Irons' lawyers say there is no evidence (witness, fingerprints, footprints, DNA) to corroborate that their client committed the crime.
A two-time Olympic gold medal victor with the United States national basketball team, she will also not be available for selection for this year's games.
"Retirement is something that is a big deal and there is a right way to do it well", she told the Times, "and this is not the time for me". "Retirement is something that's a major deal, and there's a flawless way to do it nicely, and this isn't the time for me personally". "There is nothing more I wish I could experience". The 30-year-old won the WNBA Most Valuable Player award in 2014 and was a five-time first team All-WNBA selection.
Maya Moore, of the Minnesota Lynx, said she'll sit out a second WNBA season. Everyone feels it. The thing that makes her so special is her approach, her dedication, which has always been contagious for our team.
"We are going to miss Maya tremendously, but we also respect her decision", Carol Callan, director of the USA national team, said, according to the newspaper.