3x WNBA Champion and 3x Olympic Gold Medalist, Maya Moore, sat courtside at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York to watch the most talented high school girls in the United States showcase their basketball skills at the 15th Annual Jordan Brand Classic (JBC).
Moore, the first female athlete to be signed to the iconic Jordan Brand family, is the brand ambassador and founder of putting together the All-American Girls matchup. In just its second year, the girls event has expanded the exposure of basketball talent. The All-American Girls event complements the JBC boys' International, Regional, and National showcases.
“I am honored to be in the company of the nation’s best talent competing in the Jordan Brand Classic. Being able to place a spotlight on female talent raises the level of women’s basketball and furthers the astounding legacy of Jordan Brand,” says Moore.
Growing up, Moore looked up to basketball legends Janeth Arcain, Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, and Tina Thompson. She was constantly in her driveway in Georgia practicing moves emulating her idols. As she was influenced by these WNBA pioneers, the Jordan Brand athlete wanted to create an opportunity for female basketball stars to meet one another from around the country; play with and compete against one another; and grow a community to encourage and inspire these young stars as they are the future of the WNBA.
“Hopefully, because of the people you meet at this type of experience, you will leave with wisdom and knowledge to prepare for college or the pros,” says Moore who spent time with the girls leading up to the game. “This is a week that can be fun but also impactful as to what they walk away with. They will leave with more gear (laughs) and more wisdom than they came in with.”
There cannot be a successful Jordan Brand Event without the talent receiving loads of exclusive Jordan gear, including player exclusive sneakers.
Moore soaks in the pure talent with excitement as she sits courtside. “She did not just do that! How? Wait! She really just did that!” says Moore in reaction to Chassity Carter’s juggled catch on an inbound pass followed by a contested reverse layup to give Team East a one-point lead with 1:15 left in the third quarter.
“The energy and excitement from the female athletes was really neat to see,” says Moore.
Team West defeated Team East, 100-94. There were outstanding double-double performances by Joyner Holmes (16 points and 12 rebounds) from Team West and Erin Boley (21 points and 15 rebounds) from Team East who were awarded as co-MVPs.
Boley is a 6’2” Forward from Elizabethtown High School (KY) and is committed to play for Notre Dame. Holmes is a 6’3” Forward from Cedar Hill High School in Texas and is committed to play for University of Texas.
@@ Can you guess the All-American co-MVPs of the girl's Jordan Brand Classic showcase?#JordanBrand #Kicks @@
The Jordan Brand Classic serves as a timely dosage of empowerment as Moore and the WNBA begin preparing for the 2016 season. Moore just wrapped up the WCBA season in early February, where she is a 3x WCBA champion signed to Chinese club, Shanxi Flame.
“Time flies! I can’t believe training camp starts [next] Sunday. I’m really excited and can’t wait for the season to begin,” says Moore as she talked about transitioning from WCBA to WNBA.
Moore, at the mere age of 26, seized her 3rd WNBA Championship last season against Tamika Catchings and Indiana Fever in a thriller 5 game series. “Man, it was a great series,” Moore reminisces. She couldn’t mention the championship series without showing respect to her opponent, Tamika Catchings, who is retiring in 2016 at the age of 36. “She’s a fighter,” continues Moore.
Reigning champions, Maya Moore and the Minnesota Lynx, will have an adjusted roster this upcoming WNBA season.
@@Check out Minnesota Lynx's off-season transactions as they enter 2016 WNBA Season!@@
Re-Signed– Slyvia Fowles and Renee Montgomery
Drafted (2016)– Temi Fagbenle (35th overall pick) and Bashaara Graves (22nd overall pick from Chicago Sky)
Signed– Courtney Clements, Katerina Elhotova, Keisha Hampton, Porsha Roberts, and Courtney Williams
Traded– Devereaux Peters (to Atlanta Dream) for Natasha Howard and Jazmon Gwathmey (2016 14th overall pick, to San Antonio Stars) for Jia Perkins
Waived– Tricia Linton and Jennifer O’Neill
Unrestricted free agents– Kalana Greene, Shae Kelley
The WNBA’s landmark 20th season tips off on Saturday, May 14, 2016. Minnesota Lynx will host their first match-up at home against Phoenix Mercury, May 14 at 7:30 P.M. ET on ESPN.