Maya Moore's taking the year off to focus on 'family' and 'ministry dreams'

Minnesota Lynx stud Maya Moore wins a lot. Now she's gonna try winning off the court, too.

Minnesota Lynx stud Maya Moore wins a lot. Now she's gonna try winning off the court, too.

If Maya Moore's not the greatest women's basketball player of all time, she may be the most successful.

A two-time NCAA champion  with the University of Connecticut, Moore's won four WNBA Championships since joining the Minnesota Lynx, adding Rookie of the Year (2011) and WNBA MVP (2014) trophies to her accomplishments. She's also very likeable and thoughtful. 

That's pretty apparent in the piece Moore just published on The Players Tribune website, in which the Lynx's tough-but-happy star announced she'd be taking next year off to focus on things outside basketball. The statement is a confirmation of suspicions raised earlier when Moore said she'd soon be making an announcement about her future with the team.

"The success that I’ve been a part of in basketball truly blows my mind every time I think about it," Moore wrote. "But the main way I measure success in life is something I don’t often get to emphasize explicitly through pro ball. I measure success by asking, 'Am I living out my purpose?'"

Moore's piece makes repeated references to religion, and the All-Star forward has evidently been harboring dreams of working in the Christian church.

"My focus in 2019 will not be on professional basketball," Moore wrote, "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's Lynx had a relatively disappointing year by their lofty standards, finishing seventh in the West and losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Los Angeles Sparks.

Moore, 29, says she'll miss the company of Lynx teammates, but feels compelled to put basketball on the back burner to focus on other pursuits -- for now, at least, if not for good.

She writes:

"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.I’m thankful to my Lynx family and others close to me who have been walking with me during this shift, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.

In a statement, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve expressed support for Moore's decision: "“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. We support her in this exploration and will continue to provide her the love and care she has always known from her Lynx family.”