Maya Moore of W.N.B.A. Weds Jonathan Irons, Inmate She Helped Free

Maya Moore of W.N.B.A. Weds Jonathan Irons, Inmate She Helped Free

2020-09-16 20:37:34
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A journey for justice turned into a love story when Maya Moore, one of the W.N.B.A.’s brightest stars, married the man she helped free from prison.

The man, Jonathan Irons, walked out of a Missouri prison on July 1 — more than 20 years after he was convicted on charges of burglary and assault. Mr. Irons, who pleaded not guilty, has insisted that he was not at the scene of the crime and had been misidentified.

Ms. Moore’s family met Mr. Irons through prison ministry in 2007. She visited shortly before her freshman year at the University of Connecticut, where she became one of the most heralded women’s basketball players in collegiate history.

“We wanted to announce today that we are super excited to continue the work that we’ve been doing together, but doing it as a married couple,” Ms. Moore, seated beside Mr. Irons, said on Wednesday on “Good Morning America.”

The couple said they planned to continue to educate people about voting and to help others who had been wrongfully convicted. “We’re doing our part,” Mr. Irons said.

Ms. Moore added that sometime in the spring she would have a “next step moving forward” concerning her basketball career, which she put on hold last year to answer what she said was a call from God.

When Mr. Irons first met Ms. Moore in prison, he was skeptical. He said he thought that Ms. Moore, 18 at the time, was at the prison for a token visit. But she wanted to hear his story.

She told him, “I’m here because I care,” she recalled in an interview last year with The New York Times.

A few years ago, when Ms. Moore came to visit Mr. Irons in prison, they both admitted they had strong feelings for each other. He said he wanted to marry her, but he said he also felt a need to protect her “because being in a relationship with a man in prison is extremely difficult and painful.”

In their hotel room after his release, Mr. Irons said, he knelt down and asked Ms. Moore to marry him.

She said yes.

“Over time, it was pretty clear what the Lord was doing in our hearts,” Ms. Moore said, “and now we’re sitting here today, starting a whole new chapter together.”



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