Maya Moore is one of the WNBA’s brightest stars. Since coming into the league in 2011, she’s won five championships with the Lynx, made five All-Star appearances, won Finals MVP, won a regular-season MVP, and has established herself as one of the best to ever play the game.
But Moore’s future in the WNBA unexpectedly came into question last month after Minnesota designated her with the franchise tag, which effectively prevented her from becoming an unrestricted free agent. Rumors followed that she might consider sitting out the season, requesting a trade, or retiring from basketball altogether.
On Monday, Moore announced via The Players’ Tribune that she will indeed sit out the upcoming WNBA season, although it remained unclear whether she’s leaving the door open to return to basketball sometime in the future.
Via The Players’ Tribune:
My focus in 2019 will not be on professional basketball, but will instead be on the people in my family, as well as on investing my time in some ministry dreams that have been stirring in my heart for many years.
I will certainly miss the day-to-day relationships with my teammates and basketball family this season, but my no for the 2019 pro season allows me to say yes to my family and faith family like I never have before.
I’m sure this year will be hard in ways that I don’t even know yet, but it will also be rewarding in ways I’ve yet to see, too.
It’s a huge deal for a player like Moore, who is just 29 and still in her prime, to take a leave of absence from the sport. Moore also sat out international competition last fall, citing a desire to rest after a grueling WNBA season.
(Via The Players’ Tribune)