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WNBA All-Star Maya Moore wants to reward great coaches

Minnesota Lynx guard teamed up with U.S. Cellular and its Most Valuable Coach program

WNBA champ and Minnesota Lynx guard Maya Moore understands the importance of having a good coach. She’s been fortunate enough to have had strong coaches and knows that some go beyond the call of duty by investing in the lives of athletes.

To reward coaches displaying a high level of support and development, she signed on as judge for U.S. Cellular’s Most Valuable Coach program.

“I’m excited to be able to be a part of the selection process,” Moore said. “We’re going to honor them. We’re going to celebrate them. We’re going to reward coaches that are really above and beyond the call of what the average coach is. It’s just a coach that invests in their players and their kids and their young people, on the court and off the court.”

The Most Valuable Coach program is in its third year. It honors K-12 school-affiliated sports coaches who connect to the good in students and inspire their players through leadership in their schools and communities.

The public voting process began on Sept. 18 and will run through Oct. 8 on TheMostValuableCoach.com. Moore will join Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb as a judge. The two will be on a panel that will take the top 15 vote-getters and narrow them down to the three finalists. The top three coaches will receive donations of $50,000, $20,000 and $10,000 to help their schools. The first-place coach will also receive a Samsung tech package valued at $30,000 for their school.

“I’m so happy that the top three coaches are actually going to get a donation and they’re going to win money for their school,” Moore said. “I know how important coaches are and have been in my life and in my career, and so I jumped at the opportunity to be able to help celebrate the important work and the important people that are going to be a part of this Most Valuable Coach program.”

Moore is inspired by her own coach, Cheryl Reeve.

“She is somebody that embodies a coach that motivates players,” Moore said. “Somebody that is passionate about her community and is really talented at the X’s and O’s and knowing the game and skill development, so I’m hoping some of the coaches that we’re going to vote for will be able to have the same characteristics as my own coach with the Minnesota Lynx.

Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore (left) talks with Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve during a game against the Tulsa Shock in Minneapolis.

AP Photo/Andy King

“One of the things that I’ll be looking at as a judge is coaches who are able to impart how to handle success and failure into their players. You can keep in mind what coaches are out there inspiring their players in success and in defeat. That’s very important as a coach, to be able to teach the players how to deal with both.

“Hopefully voters will get to walk away being inspired by coaches who sacrifice for their players,” Moore said. “They teach them about what it means to be a good person and a good teammate, but also skill development and inspiring their players to be great at their game, but also coaches that know how to motivate I think, both on and off the court, on and off the field, in or out of the pool, whatever sport it may be in. I’m a little biased towards basketball, but I’m not going to let that impact my voting. If it’s a soccer coach or a tennis coach, it is an outstanding coach.”

Kelley Evans is a general editor at The Undefeated. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.