WNBA Cares Q&A: Maya Moore

To tip off the WNBA’s 17th season, the league, its teams and players will join community members and partners in a series of special events and community activities to celebrate WNBA Cares Week.

WNBA.com: Why is WNBA Cares important to you and the rest of the players in the league?

Maya Moore: I think, as athletes, we have a platform, we have an influence on younger kids, whether they're athletes or not. Sometimes people need a little extra attention and opportunity to get where they want to be and as someone who was the beneficiary of these opportunities, coming from a single-parent home, and having family members and friends help me fund raise and help me go to all the different tournaments and trips and just different ways to help me out, that's how I was able to get to where I am today. To be able to do that for someone else feels really good.

It also sends a message that you're never to big to think outside yourself and give back, so it's setting a good example of well of how you carry yourself when you have the opportunity.

WNBA.com: I know many players such as yourself have hectic schedules, but you find ways to be active in these events it seems like you genuinely have fun when you're involved?

Maya Moore: It's a joy for me. If you're not going to have fun and do the things that make you come alive, you need to figure out what that is.

I definitely enjoy the educational aspect, the teaching aspect of giving back. I enjoy seeing young people learn and have the joy of learning because the main foundation of life is being able to learn. And if you can't learn, maybe by reading -- that's how you learn in the world for the most part -- you're going to put at a disadvantage. One of my biggest things is raising awareness so that young kids can learn how to read so that they can continue to learn as they get older.

WNBA.com: When you were growing up, can you point to one person or one event that was able to give you direction and motivation?

Maya Moore: I would say the involvement of my mother in my education. She was one of those people - and my grandparents on my mom's side -- that were very active in making sure I had school books to read and got excited about learning about history and different African-American authors and just making learning fun. I remember just being a little kid and always having books around, reading with my mom, and I never really looked at learning as a chore. It was fun. Being able to make learning fun for kids is huge, and changing their perspective about learning.