Giving girls the same chance I had

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Maya Moore loves to work with and inspire kids, which she'll do again at her academy on Aug. 25.

On Aug. 25, I will host my annual Maya Moore Academy, an all-day basketball experience for young girls in the Twin Cities area that will focus on four key pillars: basketball, leadership, service and character. One of my primary goals is to help campers develop skills that will help them achieve success not only on the basketball court, but in their everyday lives.

Basketball provides endless opportunities for character building as you work through a season by practicing, training and competing. Through basketball, we learn how to be better teammates, how to compete and how to deal with both failure and success. This year, in addition to the classroom sessions on communication and goal setting, I have woven in a nutrition piece. Part of my evolution as an athlete has been a commitment to better eating, and I'm eager to share some of what I've learned with my campers.

Coming from a family of educators, I enjoy being in an environment where I can teach kids something that they can carry with them. My academy is one way I connect with young people. Through it, I hope to provide them with tools to become better basketball players and better people.

As a kid, I went to camps and saw older women in positions of leadership doing what I wanted to do one day. It was an important experience for me to have role models whom I could look up to and socialize with. Those women had a huge impact on both my life and career goals, and I will always remember the time they put into helping me develop. Those experiences are what motivate me to keep my academy an intimate experience. I want to make sure I have the chance to connect with every camper. It's always my aim to have my academy really impact kids and inspire them to dream big.

I'm blessed that I get to take a moment during the busy Lynx season to share my experience and bits of wisdom with kids and, hopefully, help them grow. Camps had a significant impact on my life growing up, and anytime I have the chance to look out onto young faces, I see a little bit of myself. Truly, it's an honor to help lead the next generation of basketball players and leaders.