MINNEAPOLIS — Maya Moore’s won WNBA, NCAA, Olympic and Chinese titles.
Now, she can add a pseudo-popularity contest to her resume.
Moore became the first top WNBA All-Star Game fan vote recipient this season, receiving 28,389 online and social media votes thanks to a remarkable first half of her fourth season. The 6-foot, 183-pound forward came into Tuesday night’s clash against the Los Angeles Sparks leading the league in scoring at 22.8 points per game and has continued her ascension as one of the women’s game’s top players.
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve compared Moore to an "American Idol" star.
"It means that people think she’s really good," Reeve said when asked about the honor, officially announced during the second quarter of Tuesday night’s tilt. "When you come to the game, you come there with your daughter or maybe even your son, you look at her and say ‘I would want my daughter to emulate this girl.’
"There’s just a way about her that’s very, very likable."
It starts with her ability to put up points in bunches. She already has more 30-point outings (five) than she did during last season’s WNBA championship run and has scored 14 or more points in all but three contests.
The three-time All-Star starter’s game goes well beyond point production, though. Heading into Tuesday, she averaged eight rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.1 steals — all career-high paces.
Moore’s torrid start earned her Western Conference player of the week accolades in May.
After landing three starters in last year’s All-Star Game, Minnesota will send only Moore to Phoenix’s U.S. Airways Center on Saturday, July 19 unless a teammate or two — Lindsay Whalen is a strong candidate — makes the West roster as a reserve. Reeve will be there as the West’s coach, too, for the second year in a row.
Moore joins Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi, Tulsa’s Skylar Diggins, Los Angeles’ Candace Parker and Phoenix’s Brittney Griner as Western Conference All-Star starters, while Atlanta’s Shoni Schmille, New York’s Cappie Pondexter, Chicago’s Elena Delle Done, Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry and Indiana’s Tamika Catchings will represent the East.
Reserves, which are determined by league coaches and media, will be announced July 15.