WNBA's Maya Moore Meets Man She Helped Free From Prison, Emotional Video

Ruben Hill
August 14, 2020

The WNBA legend waited with her family and other supporters for Irons outside the Jefferson City Correctional Center in Missouri as he was released from prison.

The man whom Maya Moore helped with a wrongful conviction walked away from prison a free man on Wednesday and met the WNBA star on his way out. She then jumped up and down in celebration before Irons made a statement.

Along the way to this moment, Moore lent financial assistance, public advocacy and countless time to a case inspiring in result but also a sad cue to remember from whence it came.

"I feel like I can live life now", Irons said while standing next to Moore in video released on social media. I just want to live my life worthy of God's help and influence and just provision in my life.

Moore didn't initially mention Irons when she announced her WNBA hiatus, instead declaring that she meant to invest her "time in some ministry dreams that have been stirring in my heart for many years".

"I'm absolutely elated and thankful just to be here in this moment right now", Irons said.

Irons, 40, served 22 years of the 50-year sentence. Green wrote that Irons' case was "very weak and circumstantial at best".

In March, Justice Green vacated Mr Irons' decades-old conviction, deemed at the time by police to be a burglary and shooting in the residence of Stanley Stotler, then 38. He was tried as an adult, convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison. After the judge put a 15-day stay on the motion, giving prosecutors time to request a review of the decision, which they chose not to do, the judge let Green go free.

"My rest is gonna start now".

"'My decision to take another year was bigger than this case", she said at the time.

However, Moore, 31, was steadfast on pushing for Irons's freedom by putting her own stellar career to the side to focus and fight. "There's a lot to adjust to out here, and I'm gonna take it slow". I want to advocate for people who are less fortunate. I want to help people with their cases.

"When I stepped away two springs ago, I just really wanted to shift my priorities to be able to be more available and present to show up for things that I felt were mattering more than being a professional athlete", Moore said.

Moore, who had met Irons in 1998 in a prison ministry, is considered one of the greatest women's basketball players but has announced she will skip a second WNBA season to focus on criminal justice reform. She also removed herself from consideration for the U.S. Olympic team, prior to the Olympics being postponed until 2021 because of the pandemic.

Minnesota Lynx head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve congratulated Moore on winning yet another "championship" but says she is angry that the superstar had to sacrifice so much to tackle the justice system. Every year. And I know one of them.

In his office in 2009, he said her teammates "think she's Superman ... because there's probably nothing Maya can't do". "I want to speak to positive change and be a part of the rebuilding process from where we're at right now because there's so much greater coming in the horizon and I see it", Irons said.

Moore was the first overall pick in the 2011 draft.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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