Maya Moore will not be suiting up for the Minnesota Lynx during the 2019 season.
After the All-Star player and Lynx wing received a franchise tag by Minnesota this offseason — which sparked rumors of her contemplating whether or not she will play this summer — Moore took to the Players’ Tribune on Tuesday afternoon to announce that she will not be playing professional basketball this calendar year.
I will not be playing professional basketball this year. https://t.co/cVUO9Uhjd0
— Maya Moore (@MooreMaya) February 5, 2019
That doesn’t only include playing in the WNBA with the Lynx this summer, but the entire 2019 year.
Moore stated in her Players’ Tribune article that her focus in 2019 will obviously not be centered around 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.”
Moore, who has had a strong religious background throughout her life and is now fully displaying how much it really means to her, added in the article that she will miss the day-to-day relationships with her teammates and also thanked the Lynx for helping her along the way.
Minnesota head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve released an official statement shortly after the Moore news broke on social media.
“As she recently shared, Maya has expressed a need to shift her attention more fully to family and ministry dreams in a way that she has been unable to as a professional basketball player,” Reeve said in the statement. “We support her in this exploration and will continue to provide her the love and care she has always known from her Lynx family.”
— Lynx PR (@Lynx_PR) February 5, 2019
The news of Moore sitting out in 2019 was one that many considered to certainly be a possibility, but is a big blow to both the Lynx as well as the WNBA as a whole.
The former No. 1 overall pick and annual WNBA All-Star has been a staple to Minnesota’s lineup and success since she broke into the league in 2011. In 2018, Moore averaged 18.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists for the Lynx. Overall in her career, she holds career averages of 18.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
Minnesota did go out and sign Karima Christmas-Kelly this offseason, an addition that could help fill the larger gap that is now present in the Lynx starting lineup. Minnesota does also have a bulk of the 2018 team and main core returning outside of Moore and the recently retired Lindsay Whalen, given Rebekkah Brunson indeed decides to re-sign with the Lynx this offseason as a free agent.
With Moore’s absence, Minnesota will now have a max salary slot open up and will have the flexibility to make even more moves this offseason with a little extra money now available.
Moore has been a large piece to the Lynx success over nearly the last decade, a span that has included four WNBA championships.
Moore, nor the Lynx, touched on the star’s plans beyond the 2019 season on Tuesday with regard to playing in the WNBA or playing basketball in general. If this is it for Moore’s career, it’s been one filled with endless success and a trophy case filled to back that up.
What lies ahead for Moore in the future remains up in the air, but she is hoping — at least for the 2019 year — that her success on the basketball court follows her as she explores this other avenue in her life.
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