Your Day in Women’s Basketball, July 2: Maya Moore helps overturn wrongful conviction

Powerful activism taking place across the WNBA

Last season, Maya Moore sat out to focus on social justice issues, a large extent of which included helping free Jonathan Irons, an African-American man wrongfully convicted in 1988, from his 50-year prison sentence. Wednesday, Irons was officially released.

The 40-year old Irons was convicted at just 18 years old for burglary and shooting charges, and was finally cleared in March by a Missouri judge. Moore met Irons in 2007 and the two have been close ever since. She took to Instagram to post the video of his release.

More bad news came for the Chicago Sky: after Sydney Colson announced she had tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday, the team found out it would also be without center Jantel Lavender in lieu of her recent foot surgery.

Storm coach Dan Hughes will miss the season due to coronavirus concerns as assistant Gary Kloppenburg will assume the role of head coach. With Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart returning after missing their 2019 campaigns, Kloppenburg and Co. will have the weight of Washington on their shoulders as they look for championship no. 4.

University of California guard Sara Anastasieska is heading to Duke for her final year of eligibility, adding a much-needed boost to the Blue Devils’ shallow backcourt. The score-first guard started 25 games for the Golden Bears last year, but will have her work cut out for her replacing the 18 PPG-sized-hole left by WNBA-draftee Haley Gorecki.

Purdue’s Karissa McLaughlin announced that she will miss the 2020-21 season due to an ankle injury. Don’t be surprised if the Boilermakers offense struggles against Big Ten competition without its best scorer and (arguably) its best playmaker.

Not often do you hear “Mj mentality” dropped lightly. But that’s the sky-high praise AAU coach Jason Terry bestows on Missippi State top-100 recruit Jasmine “Best shooter I’ve ever coached” Shavers. Watch out, SEC.

Aerial Powers will try to defend two titles in Florida: one as a WNBA champion, the other as the WNBA’s biggest gamer. She’ll lug her equipment down to the IMG Academy to stream NBA 2K20 and Apex Legends in between playing for the Mystics.

In addition to Maya Moore, many WNBA players continue to advocate for social justice. This past week, Candace Parker began spearheading the Los Angeles Sparks’ new initiative on voting and immigration reform.

2021 5-star prospect Brooklynn Miles announced on Twitter she is committing to Tennesee, opting for the Volunteers over the University of Kentucky, University of Miami (FL), and several other big programs.

UConn officially returns to the Big East after a seven-year stint in the AAC. You want to talk about success? Since they left the Big East, the Huskies have gone 118-0 in conference play and won three national championships.

As the WNBA gears up for their arrival, Florida reports a 15% positive COVID-19 test rate, with almost 160,000 cases in the state.

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