In her fourth WNBA season Maya Moore has been electric. Part of a team that has helped set a new standard for greatness in women’s basketball, Moore has proved that she’s the genuine article on both sides of the floor as well as in the locker room. Through her play and her leadership Maya Moore has truly earned the 2014 WNBA MVP Award.
“I just want to first of all thank my Mom and the rest of my family… I would have never thought years ago as a 5-year-old running around in Jefferson City, Missouri that we'd be standing here today. I couldn't have dreamed that up. It's just amazing to think of the awesome teams that I've been able to play for in my career that have helped mold me into the person and player I am today.”
WNBA MVP Maya Moore
During college Maya Moore was the only three-time winner of the Wade Trophy, awarded to the best female college player in the country, She only lost four games in her entire four seasons at UConn with Head Coach Geno Auriemma. During that stretch Maya won two national championships and started throughout the Huskies' record 90-game winning streak.
“For Maya, she has always been incredibly focused. She’s always been someone who takes tremendous pride in her work ethic and her preparation…I’m not surprised that she’s become better defensively, I’m not surprised that she has found more ways to score…Maya may be the most prolific scorer in the league, but she takes great pride in passing the ball…I don’t know that anyone prepares to be great better than Maya does.”
USA Basketball Women’s national team Head Coach Geno Auriemma
Moore was drafted number 1 overall in the 2011 draft by Minnesota, and since that time Maya has been a key contributor in any way she can. She has followed the lead of veterans Seimone Augustus, Lindsay Whalen, and Rebekkah Brunson, as well as the instructions of Head Coach Cheryl Reeve as she builds her WNBA story.
In her 4 seasons with Minnesota: Maya Moore has helped the Lynx to 105 regular season wins while allowing just 31 regular season losses. Minnesota’s playoff record since Maya Moore joined the team stands tall at 21 wins to only 5 losses, including 3 WNBA Finals appearences and 2 WNBA Championships. Moore started on both Championship rosters and earned the WNBA Finals MVP in 2013. Just for some persceptive, the Lynx playoff record prior to 2011 was a dismal 1 win to 4 losses dating back to 1999.
“This award, the thing I'm probably most proud of, is the consistency that it represents. It's that consistency of coming in every day and really walking the walk. That's what I want to do as a leader. I don't want to just talk, and talk about what needs to be done. I want to go out and do it. There's always things for me to do and things to improve on, but I felt like I kept my word when I said I was going to be there for my team when they needed me.
To know that my teammates are proud of me and are happy for me means more than any award. I care more about what they think about me because they know me, they see me in my low moments, they see me in my high moments. And to know that they appreciate me, and respect me, means a lot. It's great to have that respect from the inside and the outside.”
WNBA MVP Maya Moore
When players were out or limited due to injury this season, Maya Moore stepped up and did the little things necessary on both sides of the ball to put her team in a position to win. She displayed tremendous leadership ability in addition to a very humble attitude in the locker room. Maya wants to see the players around her succeed just as much as she desires to win, to see that sort of sportsmanship on display on an every day basis is quite remarkable.
“You started the season with 135 points in your first four games. And with a team challenge by injuries, you went on to play in every single game this season. You led the league with 23.9 points per game. You set a new league record of scoring 30-plus points in 12 games and 30-plus points in four consecutive games. And along the way you achieved a career-high and a franchise-high 48 points versus the Atlanta Dream. You completed this season being the only player in WNBA history to score in double figures in literally every game.
That is truly amazing. It wasn't all about offense, though. You set personal records on the defensive end as well with 8.1 rebounds per game and 1.9 steals per game. And while we don't really keep stats on black eyes, you probably would have taken that as well. You have had a spectacular season that has led the team to the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference and along the way set a WNBA record being the first team to win 25 or more games in four consecutive seasons.”
WNBA President Laurel Richie
“I put some thought into how to best celebrate this and these awards make me think about all the help that went into me winning this trophy. That makes me smile, knowing I've had that help from my teammates and the fact that I've been healthy enough to perform all season. It's been awesome to show that my training is paying off, but we're not done yet.”
WNBA MVP, Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore