Basketball legend Maya Moore, husband Jonathan Irons to share justice reform efforts in Apr. 24 keynote

Oglethorpe University students have been engaging with the Core curriculum’s theme of “crime and punishment” this academic year, and now they will have an opportunity during the 2024 Liberal Arts and Sciences Symposium (LASS) to hear from Hall-of-Fame basketball player and Arthur Ashe Award for Courage winner Maya Moore and her husband, Jonathan Irons, about their nonprofit work in criminal justice reform.

Moore and Irons will deliver the keynote address for this year’s symposium with the theme “Reasonable Doubts: Crime and Punishment in Society” from 1 to 2 p.m., April 24, in Lupton Auditorium. Co-founders of the social action non-profit Win With Justice, the couple’s unique story fits perfectly with the LASS theme.

“Maya and Jonathan are an amazing team, and their story inspires as much as it educates,” said Dr. Kendra King Momon, interim provost and vice president of academic affairs. “I am honored to call them friends in the social justice space, and I know Oglethorpe students will gain so much from hearing their story. There are no better speakers to talk about criminal justice reform in America than Maya and Jonathan.”

Born in Jefferson City, Mo., Moore played high school basketball and graduated from Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Ga. She is a basketball icon: two-time NCAA champion with the University of Connecticut, two-time Olympic gold medalist, four-time WNBA champion with the Minnesota Lynx, WNBA MVP among many other awards and accolades.

Just before her freshman year at Connecticut, family members involved in a prison ministry introduced Moore to Irons. She learned his story, and over the next decade, they forged a relationship grounded in their shared faith and commitment to earning his freedom.

Irons was just 18 years-old when he was wrongly convicted by an all-white jury for a crime that occurred when he was 16. With no physical evidence tying him to the crime, Irons was handed a 50-year prison sentence, of which he served 23 years.

In 2019 Moore shocked the world when she decided to step away from basketball to focus on Irons’ case. He was released July 1, 2020, and they were engaged the next day. They married that same month and have worked together in prison ministry, prosecutorial reform and social justice.

Their story is recounted in the ESPN 30-for-30 documentary “Breakaway” and their co-memoir, “Love and Justice: A Story of Triumph on Two Different Courts.” In 2022, their first child, Jonathan, Jr (“JJ”) was born.

The complete LASS schedule is available at

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