Of the four WNBA players who participated in NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston, Maya Moore without a doubt stood out as the rising star of the group.
At age 23, Moore was by far the youngest in a quartet that included WNBA all-time leading scorer Tina Thompson, former MVP Tamika Catchings and three-time league champion Swin Cash. But despite her lack of experience when compared to those other three, Maya is just as big a name because of her exploits at UConn.
With all the hype that surrounded her in college, it seemed like only a matter of time until she had the honor of representing the WNBA at the NBA's All-Star Weekend.
And after her West team won the Celebrity Game, 58-38, this past Friday and her Shooting Stars team led by Russell Westbrook recorded the best first round time thanks to her half-court make this past Saturday, Maya seemed to be satisfied with how her first NBA All-Star Weekend had gone, stressing that it was all about "fun."
"The thing about this weekend is it is about having fun and putting on a show for the fans," Moore said. "It was really great with stars like Kevin Hart coming out and making it fun," she added referring to her Celebrity Game teammate who was the MVP of that event more because of his comedic performance than his basketball performance.
Here's what Maya tweeted about Kevin Hart:
When asked who she was most curious to see play in the Celebrity Game, Moore said: "It was really cool to see Usain out there. It was pretty cool to be on the court with the fastest man in the world. And then when Kevin [Hart] challenged Usain to a foot race, that was one of the funniest moments of the game."
However, even amidst all the fun, you could see the competitor in Maya when she threw her head back in disappointment as Team Westbrook's time ran out before they could hit a half-court shot in the finals of the Shooting Stars contest, allowing Chris Bosh's team to come away with first place.
"We couldn't find our half-court shot in the second round," Moore said. "Russell had a couple that went in and out. Heartbreaking loss in the finals."
But while she fell just short of sweeping her two events with victories, it was still a good weekend for Moore, who seemed to fit right in with the NBA All-Star atmosphere. For example, when it came to the celebrity game it wasn't too hard for her to realize that it was just about having fun. She said she didn't need talk to her East team WNBA counterpart and Celebrity Game veteran Catchings about what the game was going to be like to know that.
"She's somebody who has so much experience and always has fun in whatever she's doing," Moore said of Catchings. "There's not much to talk about, just go out and have fun so that's what we've been doing."