words // Brandon Richard
Since Maya Moore is the most talked about incoming WNBA rookie since Candace Parker in 2008, it was only fitting that she began her professional career by taking on Candace and the Los Angeles Sparks on Friday night. In front of a crowd of more than 13,500 people at Staples Center, Maya started her journey to female basketball greatness with a 21-point, 4-rebound and 4-assist effort against the Sparks. Behind Maya’s strong game the Lynx surged to a halftime lead, but couldn’t hold off a second half rally by Parker and the Sparks, who pulled out an 82-74 win in the opener.
“I was a little anxious, but I was excited to play,” Moore told ESPN. “It was just exciting when the game started and you start making the first couple of shots, get into a rhythm, and you realize this is still basketball.”
Much of the talk surrounding Maya in the early stages of her career is due to her history-making endorsement deal with the Jordan Brand. The first female basketball athlete to officially wear Jordan shoes, Maya revealed on her Twitter account yesterday that she’d begin her career playing in custom colorways of the Jordan Fly Wade. However, the picture she showed us was more than likely a pair we’ll see her wearing in home games. For this game, she warmed up in next week’s “Orion Blue” release and ended up playing in a grey-based “away” PE colorway.
Check out photos of Maya’s pro debut below and keep checking Eastbay for continued coverage of her rookie campaign.
images via ESPN