The Sports Illustrated Awards aired on Saturday, highlighting some of the best athletes in the world. The event was co-hosted by Cari Champion, Richard Jefferson, Chad Johnson, and Lindsey Vonn. Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Aoki, and Gucci Mane all performed.
Maya Moore won SI’s Inspiration of the Year Award; she beat out Sarah Fuller, Chris Nikic, and Jaylen Brown. Moore took home the award because of her passion for fighting for criminal justice reform. The WNBA star stopped her playing career to fight for criminal justice.
Moore helped free Johnathan Irons, who served more than 20 years after being convicted on charges of burglary and assault. Irons pleaded not guilty and said he was not at the scene and had been misidentified. Irons and Moore meet in 2007 through a prison ministry; Moore was a freshman in college.
The two stayed in touch through the years, and in 2016 is when Moore started taking a role in advocating changes in law enforcement and the legal system. In 2019, Maya Moore announced she would step away from basketball to help Irons on his appeal.
In March 2020, Irons conviction was overturned due to no corroborating witness, fingerprints, DNA, or blood evidence connecting him to the crime, and he was released from prison in July. On Good Morning America in September, Moore and Irons annouced that they were married.
“We wanted to announce today that we are super excited to continue the work that we’ve been doing together, but doing it as a married couple,” Ms. Moore, seated beside Mr. Irons, said on Wednesday on “Good Morning America.”
Moore is an outstanding basketball player; she won two NCAA Championships while playing for the Connecticut Huskies. Maya also was a two-time Player of the Year and made AP All-American First Team all four years.
The former Connecticut Huskie star was selected first overall in the 2011 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx. In eight years with the Lynx Moore, she won Rookie of the Year, WNBA MVP, WNBA Finals MVP, and was six-tome All-Star. Also, Moore is a member of thr WNBA TOP20@20 team and won four WNBA titles. As you can see, Moore walked way at the top of her game, and hopefully, someday, she will come back to play basketball. But maybe she has other important plans.