29-year-old JEFFERSON CITY, MO-native MINNESOTA LYNX Forward #23 MAYA MOORE is the cover story for the current issue of SLAM Magazine!!!
Here are some interview interludes:
On seeing the mural of herself in the city of MINNEAPOLIS, MN that stretches for an entire city block:
“I had heard they were going to do something big> I was driving to the game with my mom,” she says, “turned the corner, and I was like, OK…there it is. And my mom was like, ‘Oh my goodness. I felt kind of like I was two people at once. One side of me felt like the women’s basketball fan, the basketball fan that’s just been waiting for this sort of celebration of our game, of where we’re going.
And the other side?
“Oh my. That’s me.”
On at age 11, she and her Mom moving from JEFFERSON CITY to ATLANTA:
“Went to four different middle schools. So along with my faith and my mom, basketball was my constant. I was a kid who loved to play, which is the beautiful part of my story.”
Back then she had a portable goal that she lugged from apartment to apartment (“We lived in apartments from 11 until…” she pauses, and then laughs at the realization, “…now?”), and she would set it up on the patio and play that way.
“I have a high achieving personality. I would just play until I got tired and went inside—and generally it was my mom yelling at me to come inside.”
On because she lives in ATLANTA, MINNEAPOLIS, and YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA, having a hairdresser in each city in which she resides:
“I’m 100 percent sure there’s no one in Ekat who could fully do my hair,cIt might appear to be simple, but it’s not. Maybe a basic wash. Maybe.”
On getting caught up in the argument of competing against vs competing with men:
“I try to be really careful about getting caught up in competing with men. I think there’s a depth to what guys do and a depth to what women do. I think one of the more obvious ones is that we have the ability to compete with each other. You hear me? Not against. With each other. You can see the competing hard... “wanting to win, while celebrating each other.
“Obviously, there’s similarities. We’re athletic, we’re strong, women are physical specimens. We have strength and athleticism—it’s not the same level as a guy, and that’s OK, but what I can be respected for is my way to connect with people, or my strength in overcoming adversity. But if you don’t talk about that as being valuable, people overlook those little things that really are strength.”
On her identity as a CHRISTIAN:
“My identity is not limited to being the best basketball player, Or even just being black. I mean, I’m a black woman, and I own that. I try just to do as much as I can to live an authentic life and point people to truth. And being authentic means admitting when I don’t know. And admitting that I could’ve been better. And admitting I want to be better if I can.”