Maya Moore looks on at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 on Aug. 18, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
In helping secure the release of Jonathan Irons, wrongfully convicted and imprisoned 23 years ago, basketball star Maya Moore gave a man back his freedom, and in the process fell in love.
Appearing Wednesday on “Good Morning America” alongside Irons, the two-time Olympic gold medalist revealed she and Irons got married this summer, a summer in which he was released from prison on July 1. They first met as part of a prison ministry program when Moore was 18 years old. Now 31, Moore said their relationship progressed from friendship over 13 years as she worked to secure Irons’ release.
“We wanted to announce today that we are super excited to continue the work that we are doing together, but doing it as a married couple,” Moore told GMA. “We got married a couple months ago and we're excited to just continue this new chapter of life together.”
Moore made a surprise announcement in 2019 that she was stepping away from her MVP basketball career with the four-time WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx, later choosing to sit out 2020 as well to devote more time to Irons’ case. Irons, 40, was sentenced to 50 years in prison as a 16-year-old for the burglary and shooting of Stanley Stotler in a St. Louis suburb. Irons long maintained his innocence, arguing he was wrongly identified in a lineup, while key evidence such as a fingerprint report was withheld that could have proved his innocence. His conviction was formally overturned in March.
As a result of her involvement with the case, Moore has become an activist for criminal justice reform and encouraging people to get active in their communities and vote this fall. As far as basketball, Moore has not ruled out a return to the court, and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2021 are now less than a year away, but said she will continue thinking about her next steps. For now, she and Irons are enjoying spending the time together that they’ve previously been unable to spend.