So Much Moore
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
-Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)
The historic career of University of Connecticut All-American Maya Moore came to an end when the Huskies fell short to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the 2011 NCAA women’s basketball Final Four.
Even though women’s basketball sometimes flies under the radar, it was impossible to ignore the thing that Moore has achieved during her time at UConn. She helped the Huskies to the longest winning streak (ever) in college basketball, become the first player to win three consecutive Wade Trophy awards, was named an All-American four times, and helped the Huskies to four Final Fours. And, get this. Wanna know how many games she lost during her entire career? Four. She had as many Final Four appearances and All-America titles as she did losses. Now, that’s a sports legacy.
The best thing about Maya Moore, though, has more to do who she is as a child of God rather than who the world knows her to be through sports.
“My faith is the core of who I am,” Moore told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “I feel like everything stems from that.”
When talking about Moore’s legacy on SportsCenter the morning after the Huskies loss, analysts mentioned the word “humility” multiple times. Yes, her basketball credentials put her among the sport’s all-time greats, but her character is what truly sets her apart. She played and lives for a higher authority—Jesus Christ—and lives to bring Him glory. Her actions on and off the court have reflected Him in tremendous ways, and, thus, her legacy has made a more lasting impact than if she’s been in it for the sports titles alone.
As competitors, we all want to be great and to win. I can’t think of a single person out there who likes to lose. But what is true greatness? Why do we play sports at all? If we truly understand who God is and why He gave us athletic ability, we would know that it’s about more than just the numbers—it’s about His Kingdom.
God gave us the ability to compete for multiple reasons. One, to connect with us and teach us more about His love and character. Two, to develop that same character inside us. Three, to reach others with His love. And, four, to stand in front of a public audience and reveal Him to those who are watching. I’m sure there are more reasons, but those four should give us a great start.
Keeping those Kingdom-minded reasons at the front of our minds while we compete will help us fulfill our God-given purpose in sports. It’s not about us; it’s about Him. And when we live that way, He will touch our hearts and the hearts of so many others.
Maya Moore got this. She’s one of the best athletes ever to play the game, and she did so with the intent to bring glory to the Lord. Thanks for the legacy of Kingdom greatness, Maya!
Image courtesy of WikiMedia.org
1. Why do you play sports?
2. What kind of legacy do you want to leave through sports?
3. If you continue playing or coaching the way you do now, what kind of legacy will you leave?
4. What do you need to change in order to leave a legacy for Christ?
1 Corinthians 10:31
1 John 3:18
1 Peter 4:10-11