Maya Moore Marries Jonathan Irons; Helped Free Him from Wrongful Conviction

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2020

Former Connecticut player and Minnesota Lynx Maya Moore, is announced for a ceremony before a basketball game, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Jessica Hill/Associated Press

Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore and Jonathan Irons, the man she helped free from prison in July after he served 23 years for a wrongful conviction, announced Wednesday they got married earlier this summer.

The couple discussed the whirlwind couple of months with Robin Roberts on ABC's Good Morning America:

Moore, who first met Irons when she was 18, told Roberts (via Yahoo Sports' Liz Roscher) they grew close while working together to overturn his conviction.

"I got to know him, and over the last 13 years, we have just developed a friendship and entered into this huge battle to get him home," she said. "Over time, it was pretty clear what the Lord was doing in our hearts. Now we're sitting here today, starting a whole new chapter together."

Irons, 40, explained he originally asked Moore to marry him a few years ago but didn't rush her into an answer or a commitment because he understood the uncertainty about his own future, per Roscher.

"I just want you [to] wait until I'm home," he recalled saying. "Because in my mind, I didn't know if I'd be home. And she's such an amazing, beautiful person, I could never trap her or not let her fulfill her dreams of being a wife and being a mother one day."

Irons asked again just hours after being released from prison, and the four-time WNBA champion said yes.

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Moore has stepped away from her basketball career over the past two years to focus on her work seeking criminal justice reform, a selfless decision made after back-to-back All-Star selections.

Now 31, the former UConn standout wasn't ready to commit to a WNBA return in 2021.

"So I'm still trying to be so present in this second year away from the game," the Missouri native told Roberts. "I'm hoping sometime in the spring we'll be able to have a next step moving forward, but right now I am trying to really just breathe from this long, long battle, and enjoy and rest. Again, just being in the moment. There's a lot of unknowns for a lot of us right now, so I'm still in that camp."

The 6'1" forward is one of the most decorated players in basketball history with two NCAA titles, three Women's Chinese Basketball Association championships, a pair of Women's EuroLeague titles and two Olympic gold medals along with her four WNBA championship trophies.

All of that team success is added to numerous individual accolades, highlighted by being named the 2014 WNBA Most Valuable Player.