SLAM Magazine, which describes itself as “the basketball Bible,” has Lynx star Maya Moore on the cover of its most recent edition.
Two things about that:
1. Moore is the first woman on the cover since 1998 and just the second woman on the cover ever (Chamique Holdsclaw is the other). The first instinct is to wonder what took SLAM so long and to wonder why more women’s basketball players haven’t graced the cover in the meantime as the sport has grown dramatically in the last two decades.
2. If a women’s basketball player was going to break that string, though, it absolutely needed to be Moore. She’s won at every level — college, overseas, WNBA and Olympics — and is the most iconic player of this generation (if not of all-time).
Local author Steve Marsh’s story is worth a read, too, nicely weaving together her basketball beginning, her faith, her legacy and her relationship with her mother. A snippet:
But basketball role models aside, it was Maya’s mom Kathryn Moore who drove her to basketball greatness, literally if not figuratively. When Maya was 11, the two of them moved from Jefferson City, MO, to Atlanta. “Went to four different middle schools,” she remembers. “So along with my faith and my mom, basketball was my constant.” But when I bring up my theory about a crazy dedicated parent being behind almost every crazy dedicated athlete—at that middle school age, I opined, most kids just don’t realize what it takes to be great—and ask her if it was her mom who pushed her, Maya sort of demurs and points at herself. “I was a kid who loved to play,” she says, “which is the beautiful part of my story.”