Local Star Sabrina Ionescu Drafted By New York Liberty

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Roan Kazmierowski, Staff Writer

April 17 Sabrina Ionescu, Miramonte graduate of 2016, became the first overall pick of the 2020 Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) draft. Ionescu is set to play with New York Liberty for the upcoming season. 

Ionescu played at Miramonte High School from 2012 to 2016 alongside the still current head coach Kelly Sopak. According to MaxPreps, Ionescu departed Miramonte High school with a win-loss record of 119-9, in addition to a school-record of 2,606 points, 769 assists, 549 steals, and 21 triple-doubles. Ionescu, ranked nationally the fourth overall player in the recruiting class of 2016, committed to the University of Oregon where she played for four years. 

Ionescu, one of the best women’s college basketball players of all time, was the first player in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) history to rack up over 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 1,000 assists. Currently, she holds the most career triple-doubles (26) in NCAA history. In her final season of college basketball, the University of Oregon senior averaged 17.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 9.1 assists per game shooting 45.5 percent from the field, 42.2 percent from three-point range, and 85.1 percent from the free-throw line throughout her career with the Ducks according to CBS News. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Transcendent. Fearless. Competitor. A perfect fit in New York. @sabrina_i. #BrooklynLoud🗽

A post shared by New York Liberty (@nyliberty) on

Ionescu’s name recently caught headlines following the tragic death of Kobe and Gianna Bryant last January. Ionescu, who had a close bond with the Bryant family, spoke at Kobe and Gianna’s memorial in Los Angeles earlier this year on February 24. She described Bryant as her “mentor, idol, inspiration, and close friend.”

Ionescu will play among WNBA stars such as Tina Charles and Kia Nurse. Her team appears to be looking forward to future seasons with her. 

“It’s a historic night for the New York Liberty. Sabrina is a generational player whose resume speaks for itself and we are thrilled to have her as our first-ever number one pick. We look forward to adding her to the Liberty family, as we work to re-establish ourselves as one of the top teams in the league for years to come,” General Manager of New York Liberty Jonathan Kolb said.

Brooklyn athletes were prompt to welcome Ionescu. She received welcoming tweets from New York Liberty along with the Brooklyn Nets star players such as Garrett Temple, Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris, and Kevin Durant. 

“Welcome to Brooklyn, but more important welcome to home, welcome to the family,” Kyrie Irving said.

Additionally, Nike announced on April 17 that Ionescu signed a professional contract with Nike Basketball. “You built a program. You broke records. You won awards. You still have unfinished business,” Nike Basketball tweeted about her final collegiate season cut short due to COVID-19.