Nearly two years ago, basketball superstar Maya Moore — six-time WNBA All-Star, five-time All-WNBA first-teamer, four-time WNBA champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist, WNBA MVP, WNBA Finals MVP — surprisingly stepped away from the game to focus on her family, she said, as well as some ministry dreams that had been stirring in her heart.
Two months ago, one of those dreams became reality when longtime friend Jonathan Irons walked out of prison. He had been serving a 50-year sentence, but a judge threw out his convictions in March and he was freed in July.
On Wednesday, Moore and Irons announced that they were married. They appeared on “Good Morning America” and said they tied the knot a couple months ago, soon after he was released.
“Over the last 13 years we have just developed a friendship and just entered into this huge battle to get him home and just over time it was pretty clear what the Lord was doing in our hearts and now we’re sitting here today, starting a whole new chapter together,” Moore said.
Moore, 31, met Irons, 40, through a prison ministry program when she was 18 years old. She took a visit to Jefferson City Correctional Center with her godfather in 2007, before going off to star at the University of Connecticut, where she won two national titles and was a four-time All-American.
Moore has long been outspoken about her faith in Christ, frequently posting messages on her social media pages, where she says in her bio, “Love God & love people as He has loved us. John 13:34.” Her new husband shares that faith. In a story on GoodMorningAmerica.com, Moore “said what she loves most is her husband’s ability to rise above the chaos of his surroundings, as well as his faith in God.”
“I’m free, I’m blessed,” Irons said in July upon walking out of prison. “I just want to live my life worthy of God’s help and influence and just provision in my life. He made this possible. I thank everybody that supported me — Maya, her family. To be home, to have somewhere to be home, I’m so grateful.”
Moore and Irons have been enjoying their newfound time together, and will continue to do so before Moore makes a decision on returning to basketball. She said she hopes to have a better idea of what she wants to do by the spring.
In the meantime, the couple aims to spread the word about Win With Justice‘s “Get Out the Vote” campaign. They want to make local elections known so that voters can make a real impact in their communities. Irons also hopes to help others who have been wrongfully convicted, people who may not have the “same resources or the blessings that I have been blessed with.”
“Hopefully I can continue to do whatever else, you know, that we can contribute to the fight because it’s a big fight and the more hands involved makes the work easier. So we’re doing our part,” he said.
— Maya Moore celebrates as longtime friend Jonathan Irons finally freed from prison
— Maya Moore honors God as she fights for criminal justice while away from basketball
— Maya Moore stepping away from basketball to invest ‘in some ministry dreams’