Maya Moore

Maya April Moore (born June 11, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for the Minnesota Lynx of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), who is on sabbatical. Naming her their inaugural Performer of the Year in 2017, Sports Illustrated called Moore the greatest winner in the history of women's basketball.[1]

In high school, she was the National Gatorade Player of the Year, the Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year, and a McDonald's All-American. She played forward for the UConn women's basketball team, and won back to back national championships in 2009 and 2010. She was selected as the John Wooden Award winner in 2009 after leading Connecticut to the undefeated national championship. The following season, Moore led Connecticut to its second straight national championship and continued its overall undefeated streak at 78; in the 2010–11 season, she led the Huskies in extending that streak to an NCAA both-gender record (all divisions) of 90. That season, Moore became the first female basketball player to sign with Jordan Brand.[2] After the 2017 season, her win-loss record in the U.S. since high school was 497–78.[3]

Moore was the first overall pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft, and joined a Minnesota Lynx team that already featured all-star caliber players in Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson and Lindsay Whalen. Since 2011, Moore has continued to excel, both with the Lynx and with overseas teams in Europe and China. Moore has won four WNBA championships (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017), WNBA Most Valuable Player Award (2014),[4] WNBA Finals MVP Award (2013),[5] three WNBA All-Star Game MVPs (2015, 2017, 2018), two Olympic gold medals, (2012, 2016), scoring title (2014), and the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award (2011).[6] She has also been selected to four WNBA All-Star teams and three All-WNBA teams. In 2012, she won both the Spanish league title and EuroLeague title playing for Ros Casares Valencia. From 2013 to 2015, Moore also won the Chinese league title every year.

Maya Moore
Moore6-20180523
Moore in 2015
No. 23 – Minnesota Lynx
PositionSmall forward
LeagueWNBA
Personal information
BornJune 11, 1989 (age 29)
Jefferson City, Missouri
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Listed weight178 lb (81 kg)
Career information
High schoolCollins Hill (Suwanee, Georgia)
CollegeUConn (2007–2011)
WNBA draft2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Minnesota Lynx
Playing career2011–present
Career history
20112018Minnesota Lynx
2011–2012Ros Casares Valencia
2012–2016Shanxi Flame
2018UMMC Ekaterinburg
Career highlights and awards
Stats at WNBA.com

Early life

Moore was born on June 11, 1989, in Jefferson City, Missouri. She is the daughter of Kathryn Moore. [7] Moore had her first exposure to basketball at the age of three when her mother mounted a hoop on the back door of their apartment. She attended Moreau Heights Elementary School as a child.[8]

High school career

Moore attended Collins Hill High School in Gwinnett County, near Suwanee, Georgia. Moore was a four-year starter at Collins Hill High School, where she had a 125–3 record with the Eagles. Moore was named to the USA Today Freshman and Sophomore All-America Teams. During her junior year in 2005–06, averaged 23.2 points, 11.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 5.4 steals as a junior at Collins Hill. Moore was named the Naismith Prep Player of the Year. She was only the second junior to win the Naismith award[9] Her first dunk was one-handed off an alley-oop pass in warm-ups at a dunk contest in Charlotte, NC in December 2005. She was 16 at the time.[10]

As a senior, she averaged 25.5 points, 12.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 4.3 steals. In December 2006, she led the Collins Hill Eagles over Poly (Long Beach, California) by a score of 75–61, resulting in her being selected unanimously as the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament of Champions in Chandler, Arizona. In the title game of the "T-Mobile Invitational" in Seattle, she scored 48 points in a win over St. Elizabeth. Moore helped lead her high school to four consecutive state championships appearances, including three Georgia state titles and the 2007 National Championship. Moore is a three-time Georgia 5A Player of the Year and 2007 Miss Georgia Basketball. Moore finished as Collins High School's all-time leader in points (2,664) rebounds (1,212), assists (407) and steals (467).[11]

In addition to basketball, she also participated in track and field. Moore finished as the first-place runner-up in the high jump at the 2005 Georgia State 5A Championships. She was also an excellent student, as she graduated from high school with a 4.0 grade point average. Moore was the recipient of the Atlanta Journal Cup. Moore announced that she would play college basketball at the University of Connecticut. Moore is only the second player to win the Naismith Prep Player of the Year Award following both junior and senior prep seasons, joining Candace Parker. Moore is also a two-Time Parade Magazine First Team All-America, three-time Georgia 5A Player of the Year, three-time Street & Smith All-America Team choice, four-time Georgia Class 5A All-State First Team choice, and a member of the 2006 Sports Illustrated All-America Team. Moore received several awards for her performance her senior year including the 2007 WBCA National Player of the Year, 2007 Parade Magazine All-America of the Year, and 2007 Morgan Wootten Award Winner which is presented to the McDonald's All-America Player of the Year.[11]

!RPG !APG !SPG |- |2004–05 |32 |19.4 |8.6 |3.1 |2.8 |- |2005–06 |32 |23.2 |11.3 |4.6 |5.4 |- |2006-07 |34 |25.5 |12.1 |4.0 |4.3 |}

High school totals

Number of Seasons Games PPG RPG SPG
4 128 19.3 8.6 3.5

Time with the Georgia Metros

Maya Moore played for the Georgia Metros 16U Nike Travel Team in both 2005 and 2006. The Georgia Metros went 73–6 in those two travel seasons, and Maya led them to four National Championships: The AAU 16U National Championship in Orlando (where she was the MVP, as a 15-year-old) in 2005; the US Junior Nationals Championship in DC, twice, in both 2005 and 2006; and the Nike Nationals Championship in 2006. Notable teammates while with the Georgia Metros included Kelly Cain (Tennessee), Ashley Houts (Georgia), Alicia Manning (Tennessee), Morgan Toles (Auburn/FSU), Charenee Stephens (South Carolina), Taylor Turnbow (LSU), Jordan Greenleaf (Auburn), and D'Andra Moss (VCU).

University of Connecticut career

Freshman year

Moore led the Huskies to a 36–2 record in the 2007–08 NCAA season, their best record since their Final Four appearance of 2004. During the season, Moore averaged a team-high 17.8 points per game, and hit 42% of her three-point shots. Moore also placed second on the team in rebounds with 7.6 per game and blocks with 1.6 per game. She tallied double-figure points 36 times as a freshman including 13 20-plus game, posted 11 double-doubles and set UConn freshman records for points (678), field goals game (275), three-point field goals (73), while ranking among the top five on the rookie charts for scoring average (tied/4th – 13.8 ppg.), rebounds (2nd – 290), assists (5th – 116), steals (tied/6th – 63), and blocks (3rd – 59). Her 678 points broke the UConn single-season record for most points as a freshman (678) breaking the mark set by Svetlana Abrosimova, who had 538 in 1997–98, andbesting Tamara James (Miami, Fla.) previous BIG EAST Freshman record total of 650. She tied with Diana Taurasi with consecutive double-figure scoring record with 31 games. She ranked sixth among BIG EAST scoring leaders at 17.8 ppg, 11th among BIG-EAST rebounding leaders at 7.6 rpg, finished in seventh place among BIG-EAST field goal percentage leaders at .543, ranked fifth among BIG EAST's leaders in three-point field goal percentage at .420.

Moore was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week a conference record 10 times, passing former UConn standout Rebecca Lobo (7) for most selections in BIG EAST history, became the first-ever freshman in BIG EAST Conference history to be recognized as Player of the Week on March 4, she was also named Freshman of the Week, marking the first time the conference weekly honors have been swept by the same player. She was second to Candace Parker in the Associated Press Player of the Year voting and was the first freshman, male or female, to be named the Big East Player of the Year. Only second freshman in history to be named to the Associated Press All-America First Team, USBWA All-America First Team. She was selected as USBWA National Freshman of the Year, also named as the unanimous choice for BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and was a 2008 All-BIG-EAST First Team choice.. She is the first freshman in UConn history to be named as an All-America selection.

Sophomore year

Maya-Moore-2009
Moore playing in 2009 for UConn

Moore continued her stellar play in her sophomore year. Moore averaged 21.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 2.3 blocks while shooting .625 (25-of-40) from the field en route to earning 2009 BIG EAST Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors. Moore became the fastest player to reach the 1,000-point milestone in UConn history, doing so in her 55th career game with 40 points vs. Syracuse and became the second UConn player to score 40 or more points in a game, while she also broke the UConn and BIG EAST records for made three-point field goals with 10, while grabbing 13 rebounds for her eighth double-double against the Orange, put together third double-double in last four games with 18 points and 12 rebounds in win over DePaul (1/13). By the end of her sophomore year, she was named the AP Player of the year, only the second time in history a sophomore has won the honor. The other recipient was Oklahoma's Courtney Paris.

Moore also earned Big East Player of the Year for the second straight year and was a unanimous 2008–09 All-Big East 1st team selection. Moore also earned almost all the possible National Player of the Year awards, including the John R. Wooden Award, Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year, USBWA National Player of the Year, Naismith College Player of the Year, ESPY for Top Female College Athlete and ESPN.com National Player of the Year. Moore averaged a team-high 22.2 points per game during UConn's five-game march through the NCAA Tournament and named the NCAA Trenton Regional Most Outstanding Player and helped lead her team to an undefeated 39–0 season and the 2009 National Championship, and was named to the 2009 NCAA Final Four All-Tournament team

Junior year

Moore played in all 39 Husky victories and started 38 times and led the team and ranked No. 22 nationally at 18.9 points per game, while she was second on the team with 8.3 rebounds per contest and registered a team-high 150 assists (3.8 apg.). Moore also led the squad with 82 steals and was second with 40 rejections. Moore posted a team-best 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio, which also the 19th-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the country. A scoring threat from virtually anywhere, Moore led the team with 80 3-point field goals made and recorded double-digit scoring in all but one game and tallied at least 20 points on 19 occasions, while she registered double-digit rebounds 14 times and double-digit defensive rebounds three times.

Moore ranked in the top-12 of 10 BIG EAST statistical categories including No. 1 in points per game, No. 6 in rebounds per game, No. 6 in assists per game, No. 3 in 3-point field goal percentage and No. 1 in assist-to-turnover ratio. She also posted 14 double-doubles. Moore was selected to the Associated Press All-America First Team, BIG EAST All-Tournament Team, All-BIG EAST First Team, CoSIDA Academic All-District I First Team. She was the named the NCAA Dayton Regional Most Outstanding Player, BIG EAST Scholar Athlete of the Year, ESPY for Top Female College Athlete, and ESPN The Magazine Academic All- American of the Year. She helped lead her team to a second straight undefeated 39–0 season and the 2010 National Championship, and was named to the 2010 NCAA Final Four All-Tournament team.

Senior year

In her final year at UConn, Moore had an impressive season, starting in all 39 games; she tied her career high in steals (6) and field goal attempts (26) against the Lady Bears and became UConn's all-time scoring leader with 17 points against Sacred Heart on December 5. Moore scored a career-high 41 points on 15-of-24 shooting in UConn's 89th straight win, a collegiate basketball record, vs. Florida State on December 21; she tallied 28 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals vs. Duke on March 29 en route to being named the Most Outstanding Player of the Philadelphia Regional and earned her 3,000th-career point on March 29. Moore scored a game-high 36 points and snared eight rebounds in UConn's National Semifinal loss to Notre Dame on April 3.

During the 2010–2011 season Moore posted career highs in scoring (22.3 ppg), assists (4.1 apg) and steals (2.2 spg), sweeping all possible individual honors: she won her 2nd Naismith College Player of the Year award, her 3rd straight Wade Trophy (only player in history – freshmen are not eligible for this award), her 2nd Associated Press Women's College Basketball Player of the Year award and her 2nd USBWA Women's National Player of the Year award; she was also voted Big East Player of The Year (3rd time) and a fourth straight unanimous First-Team All-American in WBCA, USBWA and AP polls (second player ever after Oklahoma's Courtney Paris).

In her college career Moore won 150 games and only lost 4, amassing a total 3036 points (1st Husky ever and 4th all-time in NCAA division I women's basketball), 1276 rebounds (2nd Husky ever), 310 steals (3rd Husky ever), 544 assists (6th Husky ever) and 204 blocks (4th Husky ever); she is the only women's basketball player in Division I history to record 2500 points, 1000 rebounds, 500 assists, 250 steals and 150 blocked shots. On February 28 she was enshrined in the Huskies of Honor (3rd time ever for an active player).

Moore was also an impressive college student: she graduated with a 3.7 GPA, earning the Elite 88 Award, and was named Cosida Academic All-America First-Team in 2009, 2010 and 2011, Cosida Academic All-America of the Year in 2010 and 2011 (1st player to ever repeat) and All-sports Academic All-America of the Year in 2011.

After graduation Moore was selected by the Minnesota Lynx as the 1st overall pick in the 2011 WNBA draft (4th time for a Husky), also becoming the first female basketball player signed to the Jordan Brand.[12]

Connecticut statistics

Source[13]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Year Team GP Points FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2007-08 Connecticut 38 678 54.3 42.0 74.3 7.6 3.1 1.7 1.6 17.8
2008-09 Connecticut 39 754 52.1 39.8 78.0 8.9 3.3 1.9 1.5 19.3
2009-10 Connecticut 39 736 51.5 41.7 79.0 8.3 3.8 2.1 1.9 18.9
2010-11 Connecticut 38 868 52.4 38.4 84.3 8.2 4.0 2.3 1.2 22.8
Career Connecticut 154 3036 52.5 40.4 79.8 8.3 3.5 2.0 1.3 19.7

Professional career

Maya Moore's professional career, like her high school and college career, has been filled with championships. In her first three years, she made three WNBA finals, one Eurobasket final, and two WCBA finals, and won five of the six possible championships she could have. Along the way, she has established herself as one of the best professional women's players in the game. In 2015, she won the WNBA All-Star MVP award. This makes her one of only two players, the other being Lisa Leslie, who have won the MVP award for the WNBA regular-season, the WNBA finals, and the All-Star game.[14]

2011: Rookie season and first championship

Moore and McWilliams-Franklin-Lynx WNBA Championship victory parade
Moore (top) and former Lynx forward Taj McWilliams-Franklin in 2011 victory parade

Moore was selected 1st overall in the 2011 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx.[15] She joined a team that already featured talented players like Lindsay Whalen, Rebekkah Brunson, and Seimone Augustus, and helped the Lynx to their best record in franchise history, as well as the best record in the WNBA.[16] Moore was named WNBA Rookie of the Month for July and August, and played in the WNBA All-Star Game.[17][18] Though Moore admitted that she struggled at times to adapt to the extraordinary level of talent in the WNBA, her play still earned her Rookie of the Year honors.[19]

During the playoffs, Moore was her team's second-leading scorer. She led her team in scoring once, in the final game of the Western Conference finals, when she poured in 21 points, including six three-pointers.[20] In October 2011, Maya became only the second player in league history to win Rookie of the Year honors and a WNBA championship in the same year.[21][22]

2012–2013: More championship contention and Finals MVP season

Maya Moore-2012-Joe Bielawa
Moore handling the ball in a 2012 home game.

In 2012, Moore helped the Lynx begin the season with a 10–0 run, the best start in WNBA history.[23] The Lynx went on to equal 2011's 27–7 mark, finishing as the top seed in the WNBA Playoffs for a second straight year. The Lynx advanced to the 2012 WNBA Finals, for the second straight season, but fell to the Indiana Fever. In 2013, Moore elevated her game, she led the Lynx in points, and became the first player in WNBA history to lead the league in both three-point field goals and three-point shooting percentage.[24] Moore was twice selected WNBA Western Conference Player of the Month, and three times selected WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week. Meanwhile, the Lynx once again had the best record in the WNBA, finishing 26–8. The Lynx swept through the playoffs, winning their second WNBA championship. Moore was named WNBA Finals MVP, leading her team in scoring two of the three games in the Finals.

2014: MVP season

In the fourth game of the 2014 season, Moore set a new WNBA record by scoring 30 or more points in four consecutive games. On July 22, 2014, Maya scored a career-high 48 points, the second highest single-game total in WNBA history.[25] She also had another 40-point game just a week later. She then set a WNBA record by scoring 30+ points in twelve games in one season. She would end up averaging a career-high 23.9 points per game and for the first time in her career, Moore won the WNBA Most Valuable Player Award. Minnesota entered the playoffs as the number 2 seed in the Western Conference. They had a record of 25–9, the 2nd best record in the Western Conference and also the entire WNBA. They played the number 3 seed of the Western Conference, the San Antonio Stars, in the Western Conference Semifinals. The Lynx swept the Stars 2–0. Then they faced the number 1 overall seeded Phoenix Mercury in the Western Conference Finals. They lost Game 1 85-71, as Maya scored fewer than 10 points for the first and only time the entire season. But in Game 2, she rebounded with 32 points and led her team to an 82–77 victory. They played in Phoenix for the 3rd and final game, and lost 96–78, failing to make the WNBA Finals for the 1st time in 4 seasons.

2015: All-Star MVP season and third championship

Maya Moore at 2015 All-Star game
Maya Moore at 2015 All-Star game, where she won the MVP award

Prior to the 2015 season, Moore re-signed with the Lynx to a multi-year deal once her rookie contract expired.[26] In the 2015 season, Moore was named to the 2015 WNBA All-Star Game and was awarded MVP after scoring a WNBA All-Star Game record, 30 points.[27] Midway through the season, the Lynx had traded for Sylvia Fowles to bolster the Lynx's roster at the center position. The Lynx were first place in the Western Conference, advanced all the way to the finals and won its third WNBA championship in five years by beating the Indiana Fever, three games to two. One of the memorable highlights of the finals was in Game 3 where Moore hit a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer. She was also named to the All-WNBA First Team in 2015.[28]

2016–2017: Heartbreaking Finals loss and redemption at fourth championship

In 2016, Moore was chosen to the WNBA Top 20@20, a list of the league's best 20 players ever in celebration of the WNBA's twentieth anniversary. She was the youngest of the 20 winners.[29] During the 2016 season, Moore averaged 19.3 points per game and the Lynx remained a potent, championship contending team, finishing with a new franchise best 28–6 record. With the WNBA's new playoff format in effect, the Lynx were the number 1 seed in the league with a double-bye to the semi-finals (the last round before the WNBA Finals) facing the Phoenix Mercury. The Lynx defeated the Mercury in a 3-game sweep, advancing to the WNBA Finals for the fifth time in six years. The Lynx were up against the Los Angeles Sparks, making it the second time in league history where two teams from the same conference faced each other in the Finals due to the new playoff format. During a loss in Game 1, Moore passed Diana Taurasi for most points scored in WNBA Finals history (262).[30] Facing a 2–1 deficit, Moore took over in Game 4, scoring a game-high 31 points to lead the Lynx to an 85–79 win, forcing a Game 5. The Lynx would end up losing Game 5 77–76 off a game-winning shot by Nneka Ogwumike as the Sparks became 2016 WNBA Champions.

Moore Perkins Carson Beard 20171004
Moore during game 5 of the 2017 WNBA Finals

In the 2017 season, Moore was voted into the 2017 WNBA All-Star Game, making it her fifth all-star game appearance. Moore won her second All-Star MVP award after scoring a team-high 23 points for the Western Conference All-Stars team in a 130–121 victory.[31] With Fowles being the more focal point of the Lynx's offense, Moore would be the second highest scoring player on the team with 17.3 ppg. On August 12, 2017, the Lynx made history as they defeated the Indiana Fever 111–52, marking it the largest margin of victory in WNBA history, they also exploded on a league record 37–0 scoring run during the game.[32] The Lynx once again finished as the number 1 seed in the league with a 27–7 record, receiving a double-bye to the semi-finals. In the semi-finals, the Lynx defeated the Washington Mystics in a 3-game sweep, advancing to the WNBA Finals for the sixth time in seven years, setting up a rematch with the Sparks. The Lynx would avenge last season's Finals loss defeating the Sparks in five games to win their fourth WNBA championship in seven years, tying the now-defunct Houston Comets for most championship titles.

2018–present: New challenges

On July 22, 2018, Moore scored a season-high 38 points in an 80–75 victory over the Mercury.[33] In the 2018 season, Moore was voted into the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game and would win her third All-Star MVP award, after leading Team Parker to a 119–112 victory with 18 points.[34] Moore led the team in scoring with 18 ppg as the Lynx finished with number 7 seed with an 18–16 record. This was first time in 8 years where the Lynx never finished as a top 2 seed in the league. They would face off against the Los Angeles Sparks in the first round elimination game, they lost 75–68, ending their run of three consecutive finals appearances.

In February 2019, Moore wrote for The Players' Tribune that she would miss the upcoming season to focus on family and ministry dreams.[35]

WNBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game  RPG  Rebounds per game
 APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
 TO  Turnovers per game  FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 Bold  Career high League leader
Denotes seasons in which Moore won a WNBA championship

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TO PPG
2011 Minnesota 34 34 29.0 .439 .369 .787 4.6 2.6 1.4 0.5 1.4 13.2
2012 Minnesota 34 34 29.7 .465 .388 .879 6.0 3.6 1.5 0.6 1.8 16.4
2013 Minnesota 34 34 31.4 .509 .453 .882 6.2 3.0 1.7 1.0 1.7 18.5
2014 Minnesota 34 34 34.7 .481 .335 .884 8.1 3.4 1.9 0.8 2.4 23.9
2015 Minnesota 33 33 33.4 .420 .359 .855 6.7 3.5 1.6 0.7 2.3 20.6
2016 Minnesota 34 34 29.7 .448 .404 .868 5.1 4.2 1.5 0.7 2.3 19.3
2017 Minnesota 34 34 31.3 .442 .411 .858 5.0 3.5 1.8 0.4 1.7 17.3
2018 Minnesota 34 34 31.8 .423 .365 .833 5.1 2.6 1.7 0.3 1.7 18.0
Career 8 years, 1 team 271 271 31.2 .453 .384 .860 5.9 3.3 1.7 0.6 1.9 18.4

Postseason

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TO PPG
2011 Minnesota 8 8 27.9 .458 .400 .690 5.9 2.3 1.0 0.6 1.8 13.8
2012 Minnesota 9 9 33.0 .429 .433 .913 5.2 2.8 1.0 0.6 1.7 16.6
2013 Minnesota 7 7 32.7 .531 .400 .882 5.3 2.7 1.6 0.4 1.4 20.9
2014 Minnesota 5 5 36.0 .440 .333 1.000 6.0 5.4 2.8 1.6 2.4 19.8
2015 Minnesota 10 10 36.1 .419 .349 .868 7.3 2.6 2.3 1.1 2.8 23.4
2016 Minnesota 8 8 32.9 .517 .387 .935 7.3 4.6 1.8 0.5 2.7 22.4
2017 Minnesota 8 8 33.4 .515 .542 .730 5.3 3.0 1.8 0.4 1.9 18.3
2018 Minnesota 1 1 35.2 .400 .250 .200 4.0 3.0 2.0 0.0 2.0 14.0
Career 8 years, 1 team 56 56 33.2 .467 .399 .845 6.0 3.2 1.7 0.7 2.1 19.2

Overseas career

2011–2012: EuroLeague and Spanish champions

Moore signed with the Spanish club Ros Casares Valencia for the 2011–2012 season. She joined the team late due to her title run with the Lynx.

In 10 EuroLeague Women games, Moore averaged 12.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists, helping Ros Casares win its first ever EuroLeague championship on April 1, 2012.[36]

Three weeks later, Ros Casares also won the Spanish domestic league (Liga Femenina de Baloncesto) title, with Moore scoring a team-high 20 points in the April 24 final.[37] The win over Perfumerías Avenida also revenged the March loss in the Copa de la Reina (Queen's Cup) final, when Moore scored a game-high 24.[38]

Mayamoore wcba (cropped)
Moore defending an inbound pass during a January 2014 WCBA game in Shanghai.

2012–2015: 3-peats in China

In 2012, Moore signed with the Chinese club Shanxi Flame, playing under Spanish coach Lucas Mondelo.[39] It was the club's first year in the Women's Chinese Basketball Association, and they started the season 0–2 with American import Ebony Hoffman. As soon as Moore arrived and replaced Hoffman (since the league only allows 1 non-Asian player per team), the team won 10 in a row.[40] In her third game, she had 60 points, 13 rebounds, 6 blocks and 5 steals against Yunnan.[41] Moore finished her first season in Shanxi averaging 37.3 points, 12.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.5 steals per game, leading the Flame to the championship in a 3–1 series over Zhejiang.[42][43]

In Moore's second year with Shanxi, she again took her team to the finals, averaging 43.3 points per game in a 3–1 series win over Beijing. It was Moore's fifth professional championship in three years.[44] For the season she averaged 39.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 4.3 steals per game.[45]

In the 2014–2015 season, Shanxi won its third straight title, beating the Brittney Griner-led Beijing 3–1 in the finals after dropping the first game.[46] She averaged 30.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.6 steals per game for the season[45] while fighting a knee injury.[47]

Despite the language barrier Moore is well-liked in Shanxi, not solely for her on-court dominance but also for her humility and friendly interactions with fans,[48] who called her the "Invincible Queen" (不败女王).[43] For her contributions to the city, she was awarded "Honorary Citizen of Taiyuan" by Taiyuan's municipal government.[49]

2018: Return to the EuroLeague and Second Championship

On January 2, 2018, Russian basketball club UMMC Ekaterinburg announced that Maya Moore had joined their team for the remainder of the 2017/2018 EuroLeague season.[50] Moore would go on to average 20.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 5.2 assists with UMMC.[51] UMMC would win each of their final six games of the regular season.[52] On April 22, UMMC won the EuroLeague Championship, with Moore scoring 17 points, dishing out 7 assists, and recording 4 steals in the final game.[53]

USA Basketball

Moore was invited to the USA Basketball Women's National Team training camp in the fall of 2009, one of only three college players and the only junior to be invited to the training camp.[54] The team selected to play for the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Olympics was chosen from these participants. At the conclusion of the training camp, the team traveled to Ekaterinburg, Russia, where they competed in the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational.[54]

Moore was one of twenty players named to the national team pool. Twelve of this group were chosen to represent the US in the 2010 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics.[55]

Maya Moore Red Team
Moore playing for USA National team USA against the Select team.
Maya Moore White Team
Moore playing for USA Select team against the USA National team.

The USA National team began training in April 2010 to prepare for the FIBA World Championship starting in September 2010. Moore was one of the players selected for the training sessions, run by the national team coach Geno Auriemma. The teams played informal scrimmages, with one team made up of the players expected to be on the national team, and the other team made up of invited all star college players, referred to as the select team. Although Moore was still in college, she was invited to be part of the national team. In the first two ten-minute games, Moore played with the national team and helped them to two wins. Then Moore switched jerseys, and played for the select team. In both games, the select team won, with Moore making the assist to put the team ahead, then stealing the ball and making the game winning shot in the final seconds. Moore ended up being on the winning side in all four games.[56]

Moore was named as one of the National team members to represent the USA Basketball team in the WNBA versus USA Basketball.[57] This game replaced the normal WNBA All-Star game with WNBA All-Stars versus USA Basketball, as part of the preparation for the FIBA World Championship for Women to be held in the Czech Republic during September and October 2010. Moore was selected to be a member of the National team representing the US at the World Championships held in September and October 2010. The team was coached by Geno Auriemma. Because many team members were still playing in the WNBA until just prior to the event, the team had only one day of practice with the entire team before leaving for Ostrava and Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. Even with limited practice, the team managed to win its first games against Greece by 26 points. The team continued to dominate with victory margins exceeding 20 points in the first five games. Several players shared scoring honors, with Swin Cash, Angel McCoughtry, Moore, Diana Taurasi, Lindsay Whalen, and Sylvia Fowles all ending as high scorer in the first few games. The sixth game was against undefeated Australia — the USA jumped out to a 24-point lead and the USA prevailed 83–75. The USA won its next two games by over 30 points, then faced the host team, the Czech Republic, in the championship game. The USA team had only a five-point lead at halftime, which was cut to three points, but the Czechs never got closer. Team USA went on to win the championship and gold medal. Moore averaged 8.7 points per game.[58]

Moore Lay-up Olympics 2012 detail
Moore in the 2012 Olympics

Moore was one of 21 finalists for the U.S. Women's Olympic Basketball Team Roster. The 20 professional women's basketball payers, plus one collegiate player (Brittney Griner), were selected by the USA Basketball Women's National Team Player Selection Committee to compete for the final roster to represent the US at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.[59] Moore won a gold medal with Team USA in 2012, in doing so joining Sheryl Swoopes, Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, Ruth Riley, Tamika Catchings and fellow UConn alums Kara Wolters, Swin Cash, Sue Bird, and Diana Taurasi on the elite list of female basketball players to have won NCAA titles, WNBA Championships and Olympic gold medals.

Moore was one of 33 finalists for the U.S. Women's FIBA World Championship for Women Roster. The 32 professional women's basketball players, plus one collegiate player (Breanna Stewart) were selected by the USA Basketball Women's National Team Player Selection Committee to compete for the final roster to represent the US at the FIBA World Championship for Women in Turkey during September and October 2014. Moore made the final roster of 12 players, announced on September 23, 2014.[60] Moore won the gold medal with the team in 2014, having now won 3 gold medals with the U.S. team. She was named to the all-tournament team and won the tournament MVP award.

USA Basketball named Moore to the squad that will play the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which would be her second Olympic tournament.[61] Moore earned her second gold medal, helping USA beat Spain 101-72 in the final gold medal game.

Personal life

Moore is a Christian. Moore has spoken about her faith, saying "Even though I've got a lot of awards and honors, it's nothing compared to what the Lord has done to my heart and what He's done for the world" and "I'm grateful to have the platform of an elite student-athlete and professional basketball player, and I want to do His will with my life."[62][63]

Influenced by her godparents, Moore advocates for prosecutorial reform in the American justice system. Specifically, she is concerned for the release of Jonathan Irons from the Jefferson City correctional center.[64]

Moore is also an advocate for the End it Movement which seeks to end slavery in modern times.[65]

Moore was the subject of an ESPN Sports Science video clip, discussing her vertical leap, court vision, and muscle memory. They discussed her ability to steal, noting that she can move her hands faster than the striking speed of a rattlesnake.[66]

On October 28, 2013, Moore was featured as Betty Lou in "Uncle Drew: Chapter 3"[67] of the Pepsi Max series of advertisements written and directed by Kyrie Irving. She is the first WNBA player to be a part of the series and alongside 'Lights' played by Nate Robinson and 'Uncle Drew' played by Irving, they hustle a courtyard of young players at Seward Park in Chicago, Illinois.

Moore was named to Forbes' 30 Under 30: The Sports World's Brightest Young Stars for 2015.[68]

As for charity and partnerships, Moore recently joined UNICEF Kid Power, along with Aly Raisman and David Ortiz as a brand ambassador Kid Power Champion with a global mission to Haiti.[69]

Moore's father Mike Dabney, who was not part of her life growing up, played collegiate basketball for Rutgers University-New Brunswick in the 1970s. He was the 36th pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1976 NBA Draft, though he did not play in the NBA.[70] Moore's young sister Olivia Dabney[71] plays basketball for Rutgers Preparatory School and is a rising star in New Jersey.[72] Another sister Ashley Dabney was a track and field athlete in college.[73]

Awards and honors

  • She was named to the U.S. U-18 National Team in 2006, and helped that team qualify for the 2007 U19 World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia.
  • In 2008, she became the first freshman in Big East Basketball history (men or women) to be named as the Big East Player of the Year.
  • Through Moore's two seasons at UConn, Moore had only three games where she did not reach double digits. Those games are a 7-point performance vs. Pittsburgh on March 10, 2008, 7 points vs. Rutgers on April 1, 2008, and 8 points vs. Villanova on February 24, 2009.
  • Moore also broke the UConn single-season record for most points as a freshman (678) breaking the mark set by Svetlana Abrosimova, who had 538 in 1997–98.
  • Scored her 1,000th career point on January 20, 2009 (in just her 55th game at UConn) at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut while scoring 40 points over the Syracuse Orange. The previous UConn record for the fewest games needed to reach 1,000 points was 63 by Svetlana Abrosimova.
  • Maya Moore becomes UConn's all-time single-season scoring leader with 712 points,[74] ends season with 754 points[75]
  • Moore finished the 2009–10 season with 736 points, the second most points scored in a season by a UConn player only to herself (754 pts in 2008–09). In addition, this brings her career total to 2,168 points, 178 short of the UConn record of 2,346 points held by her teammate Tina Charles.
  • Moore was named the co-winner of the Honda-Broderick Cup (along with Megan Hodge from Penn State), awarded to the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. The criteria include "outstanding athletic achievement but also team contributions, scholastics and community involvement".[76][77]
  • Moore won the 2010 ESPY Award for Best Female College Athlete.[78]
  • Moore was selected to play in a basketball game organized by President Barack Obama to entertain wounded troops. The players invited included some current and former stars: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Bill Russell and Magic Johnson.[79][80]
  • Moore scored a career-high 41 points while adding 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 3 blocks in UConn's historic 89th consecutive victory on December 21, 2010, against 22/22 Florida State.
  • In March 2011, Moore earned All-American honors, becoming the second four-time All-American women's basketball player.
  • In April 2011, Moore was named Associated Press Player of the Year for the second time.
Maya Moore receiving Wade Trophy
Maya Moore accepting the Wade trophy for the best NCAA Division I player in the USA
  • Moore was selected Best Female Amateur Athlete by Connecticut Magazine for 2010
  • Won a gold medal with Team USA in the London Olympics
  • Over the course of her career, Moore has been invited to yes honors at the White House five times, prompting President Obama to joke that "basically, there's like a Maya Moore wing in the White House."[81]

2007

  • Naismith National Girls' High School Player of the Year
  • WBCA High School Coaches' All-America Team
  • WBCA High School Game MVP (Red team)[82]

2008

  • Big East Freshman of the Year
  • Big East Player of the Year (first freshman – man or woman – to receive this award)
  • USBWA National Freshman of the Year[83]
  • Unanimous (USBWA, WBCA, AP) All-America First Team

2009

Maya Moore 2009
Maya Moore in Parade celebrating UConn undefeated National Championship
Maya Moore basket 20161011
Moore at the 2016 WNBA Finals

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

  • WNBA Western Conference Player of the Month for May 2014
  • WCBA Champion
  • ESPY for Best WNBA Player
  • 2014 WNBA All-Star
  • WNBA Western Conference Player of the Month for July 2014
  • WNBA MVP
  • FIBA Gold Medalist, Women's Basketball
  • MVP of FIBA World Championships for Women[104]
  • Named one of ESPNW's Impact 25.[105]

2015

2016

  • ESPY for Best WNBA Player
  • All-WNBA First Team
  • Olympic Gold Medalist

2017

  • WNBA Champion
  • All-WNBA First Team
  • WNBA All-Defensive Second Team
  • Western Conference All-Star
  • WNBA All-Star Game MVP

See also

References

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External links

2009–10 Connecticut Huskies women's basketball team

The 2009–10 Connecticut Huskies women's basketball team represented the University of Connecticut in the 2009–2010 NCAA Division I basketball season. The Huskies were coached by Geno Auriemma, as the Huskies played their home games at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in the XL Center located in Hartford, Connecticut, and on campus at the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut. The Huskies are a member of the Big East Conference and won their seventh NCAA championship against Stanford on April 6, 2010.

2013 Minnesota Lynx season

The 2013 WNBA season was the 15th season for the Minnesota Lynx of the Women's National Basketball Association. The Lynx won their second WNBA Championship in three years, and led the league in wins for the third straight season.

The Lynx entered the season as the two-time defending WNBA Western Conference champions. The Lynx won the 2011 WNBA Finals, but lost the 2012 WNBA Finals to the Indiana Fever.

The 2012 season saw the retirement of veteran center Taj McWilliams-Franklin. The Lynx replaced her in the offseason, trading guard Candice Wiggins for former University of Minnesota standout Janel McCarville, who had played with Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen in college.

Despite returning three olympians and an all-star in their starting lineup, the Lynx were considered something of an afterthought going into the season, with much of the press going to the Phoenix Mercury, which drafted Brittney Griner.

Despite the lowered expectations, the Lynx had another outstanding season, finishing with the best record in the WNBA for the third straight year, and placing four players in the WNBA All-Star Game. After dispatching the Seattle Storm in the opening round of the playoffs, the Lynx swept the Phoenix Mercury in the Western Conference Finals, to earn their third straight trip to the WNBA Finals. They then defeated the Atlanta Dream to win their second WNBA title in three years.

2013 WNBA season

The 2013 WNBA season was the 17th season of the Women's National Basketball Association. The regular season began on May 24, and playoffs concluded on October 10. The Minnesota Lynx won their second league championship, defeating the Atlanta Dream three games to none in the 2013 WNBA Finals.

The year represented a positive turning point for the long-struggling league. Both attendance and television viewership were up, driven by an influx of talented rookies, multiple teams reported that they were near a break-even point, and at least one franchise announced that it was profitable.

2014 Minnesota Lynx season

The 2014 WNBA season was the 16th season for the Minnesota Lynx of the Women's National Basketball Association. The Lynx are defending their 2013 WNBA Championship, seeking to become the third franchise to win three titles. However, their bid fell short as they lost to the Phoenix Mercury in the conference finals.

The Lynx had a positive offseason, re-signing free agent center Janel McCarville and guard Monica Wright, two key components of the 2013 championship team. The Lynx also announced their first uniform sponsor, the Mayo Clinic.

2014 WNBA season

The 2014 WNBA season was the 18th season of the Women's National Basketball Association. The season started in May and concluded in September to accommodate the 2014 Women's World Championship.

2015 WNBA All-Star Game

The 2015 WNBA All-Star Game is an exhibition basketball game. It was played on July 25, 2015. The Connecticut Sun hosted a WNBA All-Star Game for the fourth time. The Sun previously hosted the game in 2005, 2009, and 2013.Starters for the game were selected by fan voting. Fans were able to select three frontcourt players and two guards. Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky led voting with 18,034 votes. Maya Moore won the MVP of the All-Star game and led the Western Conference to a 117-112 victory over the Eastern Conference.

2015 WNBA season

The 2015 WNBA season was the 19th season of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The regular season started on June 5 and playoffs concluded on October 14.The Minnesota Lynx beat the Indiana Fever 69–52 in game five of the Finals on October 14 to clinch a third WNBA title in five years.

2017 Minnesota Lynx season

The 2017 WNBA season of the Minnesota Lynx is their 19th season in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Lynx finished the 2016 season with a record of 28–6, finishing first in the Western Conference (and the league as a whole) and qualifying for the playoffs, before ultimately beating Los Angeles in the WNBA Finals to win their league-tying best fourth championship.

The Lynx moved from their normal home, Target Center in Minneapolis, to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul for the 2017 season due to the renovation that would be taking place at Target Center. Due to the Minnesota Wild season beginning, the Lynx announced that the entirety of their playoff run would be played at the University of Minnesota's Williams Arena.The Lynx opened the season on May 14 with a 70-61 victory over the Chicago Sky. Sylvia Fowles led the way with 26 points and 10 rebounds. During the May 20 game versus the Dallas Wings, Rebekkah Brunson recorded her 3,000th career rebound, becoming the fifth player in league history to do so. Cheryl Reeve was named the inaugural WNBA Coach of the Month for the month of May. Lindsay Whalen became the all-time winningest player in WNBA history with 295 wins, with a June 9 victory over the Washington Mystics. The win broke the tie with Swin Cash, giving Whalen first place in that category all by herself.With the win against the San Antonio Stars on June 25, Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, Maya Moore, and Lindsay Whalen became the winningest quartet in WNBA History with 122 wins, passing the Los Angeles Sparks quartet of Tamecka Dixon, Lisa Leslie, Mwadi Mabika, and Delisha Milton-Jones who recorded 121 from 1999 to 2004. During the July 6 victory over the Sparks, Maya Moore scored her 4,000th career point.Four Lynx players were named to the West All-Star Team - Maya Moore, Sylvia Fowles, Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson. Moore and Fowles were named starters, while Augustus and Brunson were named reserves. Brunson was selected as a replacement player for the injured Brittney Griner. During the July 16 game versus the Phoenix Mercury, Sylvia Fowles scored her 4,000th career point. Sylvia Fowles recorded her 500th career block during the July 25 game versus the New York Liberty, becoming the seventh person in league history to do so. Fowles grabbed her 2,500th career rebound during the August 8th game versus the Atlanta Dream. She became the 10th player in league history to reach that milestone.The Lynx unveiled their new logo, which will be used in the 2018 season, at the halftime of the August 11 game versus the Los Angeles Sparks.The team made WNBA history with the 111-52 victory over the Indiana Fever, breaking the WNBA record for margin of victory (59), largest run (37-0), and largest halftime lead (45). They also broke Lynx franchise records for most points in a half (68) and most field goals in any half (27), while tying a record for most points in any quarter (37). During the same game, Jia Perkins passed Katie Douglas on the WNBA all-time steals list to move into fifth place. After beating the San Antonio Stars on August 25 to begin a 3-game road trip, the Lynx clinched a spot in the WNBA semifinals.With their August 30 victory over the Indiana Fever, the Lynx recorded their 25th win of the season, which they have now done for six seasons in team history, tying a WNBA record. During the September 1st game versus the Chicago Sky, Maya Moore passed Katie Smith for the franchise record for career 3-pointers. On September 2, the WNBA and the Lynx announced that Minnesota would be the host of the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game. This would be the first time that the Lynx have hosted the All-Star Game. Following their regular season finale victory over the Washington Mystics, the Lynx clinched the overall top seed in the 2017 WNBA Playoffs.By earning the top seed in the playoffs, the Lynx advanced to the semifinal round and faced the Washington Mystics. The Lynx swept the Mystics 3-0 to advance to the WNBA Finals. It is the Lynx's sixth time in seven years advancing to the Finals. The Lynx defeated the Los Angeles Sparks in 5 games to win their fourth WNBA championship in seven years, tying the now-defunct Houston Comets for most championship titles.

2017 WNBA All-Star Game

The 2017 WNBA All-Star Game was an exhibition basketball game played on July 22, 2017. The Seattle Storm hosted a WNBA All-Star Game for the first time. Starters for this year's All-Star game were selected by a combination of fan, media, and player voting. Fans accounted for 50% of the vote to determine the starters for Verizon WNBA All-Star 2017, while current players and a media panel accounted for 25% each. Maya Moore, of the Minnesota Lynx was the overall leader in votes with 32,866, with Elena Delle Donne, of the Washington Mystics, finishing in 2nd with 31,414 votes. The Western Conference defeated the Eastern Conference with a 130-121 victory. Maya Moore was named MVP. Allie Quigley of the Chicago Sky won the Three-Point Contest.

2018 Minnesota Lynx season

The 2018 WNBA season of the Minnesota Lynx was their 20th season in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Lynx finished the 2017 season with a record of 27–7, finishing first in the Western Conference (and the league as a whole) and qualifying for the playoffs, before ultimately beating Los Angeles in the WNBA Finals to win their league-tying best fourth championship.

The Lynx returned to the home arena, Target Center, for the 2018 season, following a year playing at the Xcel Energy Center and Williams Arena due to renovations.

The season started out shakily for the Lynx, going 2–3 in May. The Lynx lost their season opener in a re-match of last years finals to Los Angeles. They also lost on the road to the eventual #2 and #3 playoff seeds, Atlanta and Washington. However, the Lynx turned it around in June, posting a 7–3 record. This included a 6 game winning streak, which included wins over 4 eventual playoff teams. Momentum slowed in July, with the Lynx going 6–4. Three of their four losses in July came versus teams that ended up missing the playoffs. The Lynx finished the season on a cold note, going 3–6 in August. A two game winning streak separated two three game losing streaks. However, the team won their last game of the season to secure the 7th seed in the playoffs.

The Lynx first-round playoff matchup saw them play in Los Angeles versus the Los Angeles Sparks. This match-up was a re-match of the past 3 WNBA Finals. The Lynx lost the game 68–75.

All-WNBA Team

The All-WNBA Team is an annual Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) honor bestowed on the best players in the league following every WNBA season. The voting is conducted by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States. The team has been selected in every season of the league's existence, dating back to its inaugural season in 1997. The All-WNBA Team is composed of two five-woman lineups—a first and second team, comprising a total of 10 roster spots.

Players receive five points for a first team vote and three points for a second team vote. The top five players with the highest point total make the first team, with the next five making the second team.

Lisa Leslie, Tamika Catchings and Diana Taurasi hold the record for the most total selections with twelve. Taurasi holds the record for the most First Team selections with nine, while Leslie follows with eight.

Big East Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Year

The Big East Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Year award is given to the women's basketball player in the Big East Conference voted as the top performer by the conference coaches. It was first awarded at the end of the 1982–83 season, the first in which the Big East sponsored women's basketball.

The head coaches of the league's teams submit their votes following the end of the regular season and before the conference's tournament in early March. The coaches cannot vote for their own players.The first award went to Debbie Beckford of St. John's in 1983. There have been five multiple winners so far. Rebecca Lobo and Diana Taurasi, both of Connecticut, each won the award twice in their careers. Shelly Pennefather of Villanova and two UConn players, Kerry Bascom and Maya Moore, were each three-time winners. Uniquely, Moore's wins were not all consecutive, as she lost out to her UConn teammate Tina Charles in 2009–10.

So far, voting has resulted in a tie once, in 1984 when both Jennifer Bruce and Kathy Finn won the award.

Seven players have also won National Player of the Year awards. Rebecca Lobo, Ruth Riley, Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, and Maya Moore are all recipients of the Naismith College Player of the Year award. Shelly Pennefather, Lobo, Jennifer Rizzotti, Bird, Taurasi, and Moore are all recipients of the Wade Trophy. Moore is also a recipient of the John R. Wooden Award.

Connecticut has the most all-time awards, with 17, and the most individual winners, with 11. The only current Big East members with more than one winner are Villanova, with two players who combined to win four awards, and DePaul, with three players who each won one award. Three current Big East members have yet to have a winner—Seton Hall, which was a charter member of the Big East in 1979, and Butler and Xavier, both of which joined the Big East at its 2013 relaunch following the conference split which spawned the American Athletic Conference.

List of UConn Huskies in the WNBA draft

The UConn Huskies women's basketball team, representing the University of Connecticut in NCAA Division I college basketball, has had 38 players selected in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) Draft. Of these selections, 25 were in the first round of the draft; five players—Sue Bird in 2002, Diana Taurasi in 2004, Tina Charles in 2010, Maya Moore in 2011, and Breanna Stewart in 2016—were picked first overall. At least one UConn women's basketball alumna has been selected or allocated in each of the past 12 consecutive WNBA Drafts, and in each WNBA Draft save two.[General]Each WNBA franchise seeks to add new players through their respective annual draft. The WNBA uses a draft lottery to determine the order of selection for the first picks of the draft; the teams that did not make the playoffs the previous year are eligible to participate. After the first picks are decided, the remaining teams select in reverse order of their win–loss record. The WNBA requires that players be at least 22 years old during the calendar year of the applicable seasons, have either graduated from a four-year university or have completed their intercollegiate basketball eligibility, or have played at least two seasons for another professional basketball league.In addition to the 36 draftees, two UConn women's basketball players—Rebecca Lobo in 1997 and Nykesha Sales in 1999—were allocated to specific teams during the initial formation of the WNBA. Lobo was assigned to the New York Liberty and is considered one of the WNBA's first players. Sales was the first player for the expansion Orlando Miracle; the team would later relocate and become the Connecticut Sun.UConn women's basketball alumni have had a significant impact on the WNBA. Four players—Taurasi, Charles, Moore, and Stewart—were named WNBA Rookie of the Year, and all four were later named WNBA Most Valuable Player (MVP). Several other UConn alumni have been named to All-WNBA teams or selected as WNBA All-Stars on multiple occasions. Eight UConn players have been named to the All-Rookie Team, including three of the school's four Rookies of the Year (Taurasi's rookie season predated the 2005 establishment of the All-Rookie Team). Thirteen Huskies alumni have been part of WNBA championship teams, and two have been named WNBA Finals MVP: Maya Moore in 2013 and Breanna Stewart in 2018.

List of first overall WNBA draft picks

The Women's National Basketball Association's first overall pick is the player who is selected first among all eligible draftees by a team during the annual Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) Draft. The first pick is awarded to the team that wins the WNBA draft lottery; in most cases, that team had a losing record in the previous season.

Seven first picks have won the WNBA Most Valuable Player Award: Lauren Jackson (three-time winner), Candace Parker (two-time winner), Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles, Maya Moore, Nneka Ogwumike, and Breanna Stewart. Candace Parker is the only player to win the WNBA Most Valuable Player Award during her rookie year.

Twelve first picks have won the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award: Chamique Holdsclaw, Diana Taurasi, Seimone Augustus, Candace Parker, Angel McCoughtry, Tina Charles, Maya Moore, Nneka Ogwumike, Chiney Ogwumike, Jewell Loyd, Breanna Stewart, and A'ja Wilson.

Four collegiate programs have multiple players that were selected first overall: Connecticut with five, Tennessee with three, and Notre Dame and Stanford with two each.

Minnesota Lynx

The Minnesota Lynx are a professional basketball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, playing in the Western Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team won the WNBA title in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017.

Founded prior to the 1999 season, the team is owned by Glen Taylor, who is also the majority owner of the Lynx' NBA counterpart, the Minnesota Timberwolves. The franchise has been home to many high-quality players such as Katie Smith, explosive small-forward Seimone Augustus, native Minnesotan Lindsay Whalen, Connecticut standout Maya Moore, forward Rebekkah Brunson, and center Sylvia Fowles.

The Lynx have qualified for the WNBA playoffs in ten of their twenty years. With four championships, the Lynx are tied with the Houston Comets for the most titles in WNBA history, and they have won more Western Conference championships than any other franchise.

Shanxi Flame

Shanxi Xing Rui Flame is a professional women's basketball club located in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China, playing in the Women's Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA). It is also known by its sponsor's name Zhuyeqing. Led by WNBA star Maya Moore, the club won 3 consecutive WCBA championships from 2013 to 2015.

UConn Huskies women's basketball

The UConn Huskies women's basketball team is the college basketball program representing the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut, in NCAA Division I women's basketball competition. They currently play in the American Athletic Conference.

The UConn Huskies are the most successful women's basketball program in the nation, having won a record 11 NCAA Division I National Championships and a women's record four in a row, from 2013 through 2016, plus over 40 conference regular season and tournament championships.

UConn owns the two longest winning streaks (men's or women's) in college basketball history. The longest streak, 111 straight wins, started with a win against Creighton on November 23, 2014, and ended on March 31, 2017 when a buzzer-beater at the end of overtime caused a 66-64 loss in the 2017 NCAA Final Four to Mississippi State. The second streak counts 90 consecutive wins, including two undefeated seasons (2008–09 and 2009–10), and was delimited by two losses against Stanford, the first on April 6, 2008 in the National Semifinals of the NCAA Tournament, and the second – three seasons later – on December 19, 2010.UConn's current head coach is Luigi "Geno" Auriemma, who joined the team in 1985. Coach Auriemma is one of the best coaches in college basketball: his 1062–139 (.884) record as of May 2019 represents the highest winning percentage among NCAA basketball coaches (minimum 10 seasons), any level, men's or women's, while ranking him third in all-time women's wins behind former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt and current Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer.

UConn has also been one of the leaders in women's basketball attendance; the team plays its home games at both the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion in Storrs and the XL Center in Hartford.

Wade Trophy

The Wade Trophy is an award presented annually to the best women's basketball player in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I competition. It is named after three–time national champion Delta State University coach Lily Margaret Wade. The award debuted in 1978 as the first–ever women's national player of the year award in college basketball. State Farm Insurance sponsors the award, and the trophy is presented at the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) National Convention.

Connecticut has the most all-time winners with nine. Maya Moore is the only player to win the Wade Trophy three times, accomplishing the feat in 2009 (only sophomore ever to win the award), 2010 and 2011. Other multiple award winners include Nancy Lieberman (1979, 1980), Seimone Augustus (2005, 2006), Brittney Griner (2012, 2013), and fellow UConn alum Breanna Stewart (2015, 2016).

Three schools are tied for second place in total recipients: Louisiana Tech, Old Dominion, and Texas have three winners apiece. There have never been any ties for the award.

Maya Moore – championships, awards and honors

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