Moore will start All-Star Game


Maya Moore

Maya Moore has earned an all-star spot, and a starting position, for the upcoming WNBA All-Star Game.

The Collins Hill grad and Minnesota Lynx forward also was voted as an all-star starter (a top-five vote-getter) during her 2011 rookie season. She ranked second among Western Conference players in voting this season with 31,635, trailing only Los Angeles’ Candace Parker (33,810).

Moore ranks seventh in the WNBA and second in the Western Conference in scoring (17.2) this season, and also averages 6.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals. She’s made 28 of 63 shots (44.4 percent) from 3-point range.

She is averaging career bests in scoring, rebounding, blocks (0.8 per game), 3-point percentage and free-throw percentage (88.7). She also became the first Lynx player ever to top 25 points and 15 rebounds in a game when she had 26 points and 16 boards vs. Phoenix on June 19.

“I think what Maya’s done is get more comfortable,” Minnesota head coach Cheryl Reeve said. “In understanding the league and her opponents and who she’s going against and also after her second year, in the exit interviews we kind of talked about the next step offensively. (She wanted to) become a better ball-handler and be able to play individual one-on-one and being able to move when the team needs a shot, to escape the defense. She’s matured offensively.”

Moore is joined on the Western starting five by Lynx teammate Seimone Augustus. WNBA leading scorer Diana Taurasi and rookie Brittney Griner, both of the Phoenix Mercury, and Parker also are Western starters.

The Atlanta Dream’s Angel McCoughtry (20.2 ppg) is an Eastern Conference starter along with the Chicago Sky’s Epiphanny Prince and Elena Delle Donne, the New York Liberty’s Cappie Pondexter and the Indiana Fever’s Tamika Catchings.

This year’s all-star game is more special for Moore, 24, since it’s a homecoming for the former Connecticut All-American. The WNBA’s Connecticut Sun will host the game Saturday, July 27 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The game will air live at 3:30 p.m. on ABC.