Jefferson (right) in 2015
|No. 4 – Las Vegas Aces|
|Born||March 8, 1994|
|Listed height||5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)|
|Listed weight||122 lb (55 kg)|
|High school||Texas Home Educators' Sports Association|
|WNBA draft||2016 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall|
|Selected by the San Antonio Stars|
|2016–present||San Antonio Stars / Las Vegas Aces|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at WNBA.com|
Moriah Jefferson (born March 8, 1994) is an American professional basketball player for the Las Vegas Aces of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She was drafted 2nd overall by the San Antonio Stars in the 2016 WNBA draft. Jefferson played point guard for UConn women's basketball team, where she won four consecutive national championships. She finished her UConn career ranked first in assists, second in steals, and as a two-time winner of the Nancy Lieberman Award as the top point guard in the nation.
Jefferson is the daughter of Robin and Lorenza Jefferson. She has two brothers, Joshua and Jeremiah, and one sister, Danielle Noble.
High School career
Jefferson played five varsity seasons with the Texas Home Educators Sports Association (THESA) as a homeschooled athlete. Jefferson began playing with THESA's varsity squad as an eighth grader and compiled 509 points, 85 rebounds, 87 assists. In her freshman year she started in 50 of 51 games played and averaged 19.5 ppg., 1.7 rpg., 1.7 apg. and 2.8 spg. to help THESA to a 42–10 record. As a sophomore, Jefferson averaged 17.5 ppg. to help her team to a 42–9 record. During her junior year, she started all 50 games and averaged 21.8 ppg., 5.0 rpg., 4.0 apg. and 4.0 spg. in aiding her team to a 42–8 record. As a senior, she averaged 17.3 ppg., 3.8 rpg., 3.6 apg. and 5.1 spg. to lead her team to a 41–6 record. Jefferson helped lead the Riders to five NCHBC basketball titles and five NCHBC Texas Region titles and finished her career with 3,354 points, 825 rebounds and 728 steals.
Jefferson was recruited by many schools; she visited Baylor, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M, and was also considering Kentucky and Tennessee, before cutting her list down to Baylor, Connecticut and Texas A&M. She ended up choosing Connecticut. She is the first recruit from the state of Texas to play for UConn.
Jefferson was named to the USA Basketball U18 team, coached by Katie Meier, the head coach of the University of Miami. Among Jefferson's teammates were Connecticut-bound players Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck. The team played in the Ninth Women's FIBA Americas U18 Championship For Women, held in Gurabo, Puerto Rico during August 2012. The USA team won all five games to win the championship and the gold medal. After winning the first fours easily, with winning margins of 40 points or more, the USA fell behind by double digits in the gold medal game against Brazil. The team came back from the deficit, and went on to win the game 71–47. Jefferson averaged 5.6 points per game, and, although the shortest player on the team at 5' 7", she tied for third in blocks with five over the course of the event.
Jefferson continued with the team as it became the U19 team, and competed on behalf of the US at the Tenth FIBA U19 World Championship, held in Klaipėda and Panevėžys, Lithuania, in July 2013. The team won all nine games, with a winning margin averaging 43 points per game. Jefferson scored 4.0 points per game, and was third on her team with 31 assists over the course of the event.
The gold-medal game matched up the host team Canada against USA, in a sold out arena dominated by fans in red and white and waving the Canadian flag. The Canadian team, arm in arm, sang Oh Canada as the respective national anthems were played.
University of Connecticut Career
Jefferson led UConn to a 151–5 record over her four-year career, which included four consecutive National Championships. She finished her career in 22nd place on the UConn scoring list with 1,532, all-time leader in assists with 659, second in steals with 353. Her 195 helpers in 2013–14 is the fifth-highest single-season mark in school history while her 191 helpers in 2014–15 is the sixth-best single-season total. She became the second player in UConn history to dish out 200 assists. She became only the second Husky all-time to record back-to-back years with at least 100 steals. Jefferson's 191 assists during the 2014–15 season were the most by a UConn junior, while her 204 helpers in 2015–16 is the best single-season total. Jefferson was named the 2014-2015 American Athletic Conference and WBCA NCAA Division I Defensive Player of the Year, and Consensus first team All-American for the second straight season. Jefferson is the third UConn player to earn the Nancy Lieberman Award (nation's top point guard) and one of only four players in the award's history to claim the honor twice.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
After being drafted second overall by the San Antonio Stars in the 2016 WNBA Draft, Jefferson immediately became a starter on the team. During her rookie season, Jefferson scored a game-winning putback to beat the buzzer as part of her career-high 31 points to help San Antonio defeat the Indiana Fever 87-85 in overtime on July 1, 2016. She was named to the WNBA All-Rookie Team by the end of the season. She missed 13 games during the 2017 season due to a knee injury. On September 27, 2017, she had a surgery to fix the cartilage in her right knee. After rehabilitating for nine months, and missing the first 17 games of the 2018 season, she returned to practice on June 21, 2018.
In August 2016, Jefferson signed with Galatasaray of the Turkish Women's Basketball League (KBSL) for the 2016–17 season. For the season, she averaged 18.5 points and 4.9 assists, and helped it reach the KBSL semi-finals. She returned to Galatasaray for the 2018–19 season where she averaged 13.4 points and once again helped the team to the semi-finals.
In September 2016, Jefferson was featured in the Adidas "Sport Needs Creators" ad alongside athletes including Von Miller of the Denver Broncos, Paul Pogba of Manchester United, and James Harden of the Houston Rockets.
WNBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game||RPG||Rebounds per game|
|APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game||BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game|
|TO||Turnovers per game||FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|Bold||Career high||League leader|
|Career||3 years, 1 team||71||43||25.3||.442||.366||.774||1.8||3.8||1.4||0.0||1.7||10.5|
Awards and honors
- 2012—WBCA High School Coaches' All-America Team
- 2014—AP All-American Honorable Mention 
- 2015—WBCA All-America Team
- 2015—Nancy Lieberman Award
- 2016—Nancy Lieberman Award
- 2016—Dawn Staley Award
- "Moriah Jefferson". USA Basketball. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
- "Past WBCA HS Coaches' All-America Teams". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
- "WBCA High School All-America Game Box Scores". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
- Hansen, Chris (April 14, 2011). "Moriah Jefferson unfazed by rumors". ESPN. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
- Halley, Jim (July 29, 2011). "DFW T-Jack Elite guard Moriah Jefferson is at home on court". USA Today. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
- Fuller, Jim (February 18, 2013). "UCONN WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Moriah Jefferson chose Huskies over hometown Lady Bears". New Haven Register. Journal Register CT. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
- "Ninth Women's Fiba Americas U18 Championship For Women -- 2012". USA Basketball. September 27, 2012. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
- "Tenth FIBA U19 World Championship — 2013". USA Basketball. October 15, 2013. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
- Jacobs, Jeff (April 6, 2016). "Senior Sweep: Savor The Huskies' Big Moment". The Hartford Courant. Hartford, CT. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- "NCAA Statistics". web1.ncaa.org. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
- "4 Moriah Jefferson". Retrieved April 22, 2015.
- Sam Gordon (July 31, 2018). "Lengthy recovery pays off for Aces guard Moriah Jefferson". Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- "2016-2017 WNBA Overseas Signings". Women's Basketball 24.7. August 22, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- "Galatasaray (K) Basketbol Takımı 2016/2017 İstatistik". mackolik.com (in Turkish). Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- "Galatasaray (K) Basketbol Takımı 2018/2019 İstatistik". mackolik.com (in Turkish). Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- adidas (September 6, 2016), Sport Needs Creators - adidas, retrieved October 9, 2016
- "Five Women's Hoops Players Garner AP All-American Recognition". UConnHuskies.com. April 1, 2014. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
- "Jefferson Wins 2016 Nancy Lieberman Award". www.uconnhuskies.com. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
- "Jefferson Wins Dawn Staley Award". www.uconnhuskies.com. Retrieved April 9, 2016.