Maya Moore announced Tuesday on The Players' Tribune that she will not be playing in the WNBA this season, instead focusing on her family and "some ministry dreams that have been stirring in my heart for many years."
"There are different ways to measure success. The success that I've been a part of in basketball truly blows my mind every time I think about it. But the main way I measure success in life is something I don't often get to emphasize explicitly through pro ball," she wrote.
"I measure success by asking, 'Am I living out my purpose?' I learned a long time ago that my purpose is to know Jesus and to make Him known."
Moore was given the franchise tag by the Minnesota Lynx last month, preventing her from becoming a free agent. Hours before announcing her decision to sit out, Moore signed a contract with the Lynx on Tuesday.
"As she recently shared, Maya has expressed a need to shift her attention more fully to family and ministry dreams in a way that she has been unable to as a professional basketball player," Lynx coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve said in a statement. "We support her in this exploration and will continue to provide her the love and care she has always known from her Lynx family."
The 29-year-old Moore took the winter off from international competition, citing a taxing 2018 season that saw the four-time WNBA champion Lynx ousted in the first round of the playoffs.
"I will certainly miss the day-to-day relationships with my teammates and basketball family this season, but my no for the 2019 pro season allows me to say yes to my family and faith family like I never have before," she wrote.
"I'm sure this year will be hard in ways that I don't even know yet, but it will also be rewarding in ways I've yet to see, too. I'm thankful to my Lynx family and others close to me who have been walking with me during this shift, and I'm excited to see what the future holds."
Moore's decision drew praise from Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry.
So much Respect for this @MooreMaya. God Bless 🙏🏽 https://t.co/Bt4amUFuGl— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) February 5, 2019
Moore was the first overall pick in the 2011 draft. Since her arrival, the Lynx have made the playoffs every season, going to the WNBA Finals six times.
The former UConn star was the WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2011, the league MVP in 2014 and a five-time All-Star. Her career averages are 18.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
The Lynx begin their season on May 25.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.