Maya Moore Sitting Out Season

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FILE – In this Aug. 30, 2017, file photo, Minnesota Lynx’s Maya Moore, left, shoots against Indiana Fever’s Jazmon Gwathmey during the first half of a WNBA basketball game in Indianapolis. Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore has decided to skip the upcoming WNBA season. Moore announced Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 on The Players’ Tribune website that she’ll sit out in 2019. She already took the fall and winter off from international competition. The five-time first-team All-WNBA honoree has helped the Lynx win four championships since her rookie year, 2011. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

During the offseason, the WNBA rarely makes splashy headlines. Many players participate in overseas leagues, forcing college basketball to take center court. This season, however, has been a more headline-worthy one, with star players requesting trades and choosing to sit out.

In the last month, there has been much speculation about Maya Moore’s future. The four-time WNBA champion, began raising eyebrows about whether she would play or not this season after she didn’t immediately sign back with the Minnesota Lynx.

On Tuesday, Moore published a story to The Players’ Tribune announcing her decision to sit out a season to further pursue the non-basketball endeavors that she is passionate about.

“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,” Moore said in her Players’ Tribune article.

Moore’s decision to sit out, coupled with the retirement of WNBA legend Lindsay Whalen, means that the Lynx will look very differently this year. Sure, they still have WNBA MVP Sylvia Fowles and rebounding machine Rebekah Brunson, but Whalen and Moore were a crucial part of the team’s offense and chemistry.

Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve released a statement after Moore’s announcement supporting her 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,” 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.”

Moore joins Diana Taurasi as another high-profile player who has chosen to sit out a WNBA season in recent years.

In addition to Moore’s news, another one of the most note-worthy off-season requests was Dallas Wings’ center Liz Cambage requesting a trade. Cambage, a two-time all-star, was the WNBA’s leading scorer during the 2018 season and a serious candidate for league MVP.

Her trade request did not come as a big surprise as the Wings finished with a record of 15-19 last season and head coach Fred Williams was fired in August. Cambage has said that she makes significantly more money playing overseas so it is expected that she will probably try to head to a team with more visibility such as the New York Liberty or Los Angeles Sparks.

If I were Cambage, I would probably be making the same decision. She knows that she is capable of being a part of a championship team but doesn’t see that vision panning out in Dallas. Although WNBA champion Brian Agler was just named as the Wings’ new head coach, Cambage knows she can get more opportunities for visibility elsewhere.

Cambage joins All-Stars Elena Delle Donne and Sylvia Fowles as recent high-profile players who have requested trades.

So yes, this upcoming WNBA season will be an interesting one. The Lynx will have to learn to play without two veteran players they’ve had for years, and Cambage will surely make an immediate impact on whichever team picks her up.


Mariana Dominguez is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at mariana.dominguez@uconn.edu.

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