Taurasi and Moore linked by more than birthday
Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore will forever be linked by more than
just the birthday they share.
The former UConn stars were born seven years apart on June 11
and share an intense competitive spirit that both hope will help
the United States’ women’s national team win a fifth straight
Olympic gold medal at the London Games.
”The thing that makes them different than most other players is
everyone thinks they are good,” said U.S. coach Geno Auriemma, who
mentored both players at Connecticut. ”Everyone that played every
sport thinks they are good, but Maya and Dee when they step on the
floor, they think they are best player on the floor and can prove
it to you.
”There’s an intensity level that they play at that I’ve not
seen matched very often. A mindset they bring to a team that is
very, very rare.”
Much was made about comparing the two when Moore was playing at
UConn. Auriemma was constantly asked which one was better and
rarely would give a straight answer.
Looking at the numbers, it’s a toss-up.
Moore finished as the school’s leading scorer (3,036 career
points) and helped guide the Huskies to an NCAA-record 90 straight
wins. Taurasi’s resume at UConn included three national
championships – one more than Moore – and she finished fifth on the
scoring list (2,156 points).
”You couldn’t find two people who better exemplify what being a
competitor is,” Auriemma said. ”There are individual things that
make them very different the same way I’m sure Larry Bird and
Michael Jordan are two different people off the court in
personality. However, put them in a competitive situation on the
court and they have a commonality.”
Taurasi has her own theory as to why the two are so similar –
the birthday. Taurasi turned 30 on Monday and Moore 23.
”I’m pretty big on stars and numbers,” Taurasi said. ”I read
a book about June 11, some pretty incredible people were born on
that day. Look at the names and one thing a lot of them have in
common is a drive to be the best.”
Among the other famous figures born on that date were Joe
Montana and Vince Lombardi.
While Moore and Taurasi are both fierce competitors on the
court, they are polar opposites off it.
”Maya is very guarded and a private person,” Auriemma said.
”Dee’s everything right up in front of you. Diana’s always willing
to extend herself and take risks while Maya’s much more
Taurasi and Moore will spend their birthdays in different ways
Taurasi is out indefinitely with a strained left hip flexor. She
hasn’t played for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury in nearly two weeks
and most likely won’t be back with them until after the Olympic
Moore has helped the Minnesota Lynx to a 9-0 record, matching
the best start in league history.
”I think it’s really funny. It’s something I know I like to
share with her,” Moore said. ”It’s just something fun. I think
more the competitors that we are is the thing I like to share with
her and the winning. We definitely have different
One other person who shares a birthday with Taurasi and Moore is
”It’s a great coincidence,” Taurasi said. ”When I got to
UConn, Coach didn’t tell me. Finally one day he was like, you know
who you share a birthday with? It’s my mother. It brought us
closer, a bond we share.”
Moore said she knew about the common birthday before she got to
”I read Coach’s book in high school and it’s in there. She’s
great. Every time I see her she gives me a huge hug. That’s
definitely a bond between all of us,” Moore said.