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    Tuesday, March 05, 2024

    UConn’s Maya Moore headed for Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

    FILE - Minnesota Lynx guard Seimone Augustus (33) and forward Maya Moore (23) embrace after Game 5 of the team's WNBA Finals against the Los Angeles Sparks, Oct. 4, 2017 in Minneapolis. Moore and Augustus headline the 2024 Women's Basketball Hall of Fame class that was announced Thursday night, Nov. 30. The pair won four WNBA championships with the Lynx and helped the U.S. to Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016. Augustus was also part of the 2008 Olympic team that won gold. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP, File)

    It probably won’t be the last Hall of Fame to invite her, but UConn’s Maya Moore is joining the elite of her sport.

    Moore, who led the Huskies to perfect seasons in 2009 and 2010, was among the Class of 2024 inductees to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, announced Thursday night, to be enshrined in Knoxville next April 27. She is the Huskies’ career scoring leader with 3,036, and went to the Final Four in each of her four seasons. Moore won women’s college basketball’s Wade Trophy three times, and was consensus national player of the year twice.

    “Not like I’m surprised or anything,”  UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “It just came way sooner than I thought it would come. Her career ended way earlier than she would have hoped, or I would have hoped, but it ended her way.”

    The No. 1 pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft, Moore played on four championship teams with the Minnesota Lynx and won gold medals with USA Basketball in the 2012 and 16 Olympics, all the championships making her a regular visitor at the White House. Moore averaged 18.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in her WNBA career, and was the league’s MVP in 2014.

    It would seem a matter of time before Moore, 34, who came to UConn from Suwanee, Ga., joins the other UConn women’s players, Rebecca Lobo and Swin Cash, in the Naismith Hall of Fame in Springfield.

    “This is just the beginning,” Auriemma said. “I’m sure she’ll be in everybody’s Hall of Fame by the time it’s over.”

    At the height of her career in 2018, Moore stepped away from the game to work on case of Jonathan Irons, who was eventually freed after being wrongly imprisoned for more than 20 years. Moore and Irons have since married; Moore announced her retirement last January, and told her story in the book, Love and Justice: A Story of Triumph on Two Different Courts.

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    Moore joins Seimone Augustus and Taj McWilliams-Franklin, both former teammates in Minnesota, in the Hall of Fame’s Class of ’24. Rita Gail Easterling, long-time official Violet Palmer, and coaches Sue Phillips and Roonie Scovel are also among the new inductees. The Hall will also honor Cheyney State with its Trailblazer of the Game award, and Afghan Resettlement Program, 13 coaches and players from Afghanistan who risked their lives to play basketball, with its For The Love Of The Game award.

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