Maya Moore has transitioned nicely from one of the best college players in the country, to the WNBA's first-overall pick and future star of the Minnesota Lynx. Among rookies, Moore ranks third in points per game (13.2) and rebounds (4.7), fourth in assists (2.56) and steals (1.00), and sixth in blocks (0.67). Not surprisingly, she's already put herself in the rookie of the year conversation.
But Moore has also been busy off the court. On Saturday, Moore and Lynx teammate Candice Wiggins threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Minnesota Twins game. Wiggins' father Alan played seven seasons in the Major Leagues but died of AIDS in 1991 when she was four years old.
Details via MinnesotaTwins.com:
"My whole life has been about trying to fulfill his legacy, so this is really huge for me," said Wiggins, who was attending her first Major League game. "I can sense that this is what he was doing back in the '80s, warming up for a game. He worked his whole life from poverty to the big leagues, so this is just awesome for me today."
Moore, who grew up in Missouri, said she remembers cheering for Mark McGwire doing his historic home-run dual with Sammy Sosa during the 1998 season. "This place is beautiful," she said "It's exciting. I've never been on this level of a Major League stadium. I've been in the stands, but never on the field like this. So it's pretty cool. … This is one of the sports that unless you're here you don't appreciate how athletic and how talented these guys are," she added.
(You can see Moore's entire in-game interview here.)
In other Moore-related news, the early All-Star returns are in: she leads all forwards in the Western Conference, and has roughly a 4,000-vote lead over the next closest player, former UConn star, Swin Cash.