WNBA star Maya Moore marries the man she helped free from prison
Women’s National Basketball Association star Maya Moore has married Jonathan Irons, the man she helped free from prison after she believed he was wrongfully convicted.
Irons was released in July after serving 23 years when his conviction for assault and burglary was overturned. Moore had stopped playing basketball last year to help him gain his freedom.
Moore, who plays for Minnesota Lynx, told Good Morning America: “We got married a couple of months ago and we're excited to just continue this new chapter of life together.”
The 31 year-old added the pair’s relationship grew into a romantic one over time after they met each other in the prison ministry programme when she was 18.
She said: “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.”
The wedding was socially distanced and guests wore masks.
Irons said he told Moore he loved her while he was still in prison and told her he wanted to marry her but said 'don't answer right now’.
He said: "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.
“And I didn't want her to feel trapped and I wanted her to feel open and have the ability any time if this is too much for you, go and find somebody. Live your life. Because this is hard.”
He then popped the question when he was released.
Irons added: "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.'"
Irons was sentenced to 50 years in prison in 1998 at the age of 18.
A Missouri judge, Daniel Green, looked at the case against Irons in March, describing it as 'very weak and circumstantial at best’.
This led to an investigation and he was subsequently released, where Moore was waiting for him outside the prison.