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WNBA great Maya Moore marries Jonathan Irons, the man she helped free from prison

By Joseph Wilkinson, New York Daily News on

Published in Basketball

It was a slam dunk.

Maya Moore has married Jonathan Irons, the man she helped free from prison earlier this year after a wrongful conviction.

The all-time WNBA great paused her career with the Minnesota Lynx before the 2019 season to work for Irons' freedom. Irons walked out of prison July 2.

Moore, 31, told "Good Morning America" on Wednesday that the couple married "a couple months ago" in a small, socially-distanced ceremony.

Moore first met Irons when she was 18 and part of a prison ministry program in Jefferson City, Mo.

"Over the last 13 years, we have just developed a friendship and just entered into this huge battle to get him home and just over time it was pretty clear what the Lord was doing in our hearts and now we're sitting here today, starting a whole new chapter together," she told "GMA."

 

Irons, 40, was sentenced to 50 years in prison when he was just 18 years old. An all-white jury incorrectly convicted him in a burglary and non-fatal shooting. A judge tossed that conviction in March because the prosecution had suppressed evidence at the 1998 trial. Fingerprint findings would've likely exonerated Irons.

Irons served 22 years before walking free in July after a prosecutor declined to retry the case. Irons said he's also long had romantic feelings for Moore.

"I wanted to marry her but at the same time protect her because being in a relationship with a man in prison, it's extremely difficult and painful," he told GMA. "When I got out, we were in the hotel room we had some friends in the room, it was winding down, and we were extremely tired, but we were still gassed up on excitement. It was just me and her in the room and I got down on my knees and I looked up at her and she kind of knew what was going on and I said, 'Will you marry me?' She said, 'Yes.' "

Moore won two national championships at UConn, four WNBA titles with the Lynx and two Olympic gold medals.

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