ST. PAUL, Minn. – It was a non-stop rotation of matchups at the MLK Day Classic girls high school basketball tournament on Monday morning at St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul.
Many of the participating young players were channeling their inner Maya Moore on the court.
“I know a lot of girls basketball players almost all probably know who Maya Moore is,” said Kiera O’Rourke, a junior on the Academy of Holy Angels basketball team.
“I remember I was at the finals game in 2016, and how it made me want to win games like [Maya did],” said Ella Pritchard, a senior on the Academy of Holy Angels basketball team.
Holy Angels won their game against Cloquet High School at this tournament. Although they were opposing teams, the players shared the same love for Moore.
“When we were like in fifth grade, we came down [to Target Center], and we actually got her autograph,” said Kiley Issendorn, a junior on Cloquet’s basketball team.
Quinn Danielson is a point guard for Cloquet, which is the same position Moore dominated in.
“Especially for me being a point guard, it’s super cool to look up to as I’m facilitating on the court,” said Danielson.
The collegiate D3 players that make up the St. Kate’s women’s basketball team are impressed by Moore’s decisions off the court.
“She made a name for herself, but then also for women’s sports, in saying that women can do these things that are absolutely amazing,” said Karis Zezza, a junior on the St. Kate’s Basketball team.
Four years ago, Moore stepped away from the Lynx and pro basketball to focus on prison reform. She helped in the release of Jonathan Irons, a wrongfully convicted man in Missouri. She later married Irons and together they had a baby.
In her retirement, Moore says she wants to be present for her family and continue her advocacy work.
“Knowing that she is leaving this legacy, and that she’s leaving to do something that’s important to her, is really great because it helps me personally to kind of understand that after basketball ends for me, that’s not the end,” said Sam Orch, captain of the St. Kate’s team.