Not only will fans miss the opportunity to watch the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, but also the women’s. This means missing one of the greatest players in the history of college basketball capping off her career. Sabrina Ionescu is an absolute star for the Oregon Ducks.
Sabrina Ionescu Wins AP Player of the Year
Ionescu broke several NCAA records on the way to winning AP Player of the Year. She is a walking triple-double. Ionescu averaged 13.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game in her freshman year which put her on the map. She followed that up with a 19 point, 8 rebound, 7 assist average for the next two seasons. Finally, this year, Ionescu averaged 16.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 9.1 assists.
Throughout her career, Ionescu recorded 26 triple-doubles, which is by far the highest total in both men’s and women’s hoops. This year, Ionescu notched eight triple-doubles. While this does not seem like a huge total, it is important to note college sports play 40-minute games, not 48 like the pros.
Ionescu broke another ridiculous mark this season, becoming the first college hooper to notch 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 1,000 assists. She did this the night she gave a heartfelt speech at Kobe Bryant‘s memorial service. For those unaware, Ionescu had an extremely close relationship with Bryant and his daughter, Gigi. College basketball started for real in the 1930s. A sport that has been around for nearly 100 years and Ionescu is the first player to ever reach this historic milestone.
Sabrina Ionescu Leaves Her Mark
One of the easiest ways to see how talented an athlete is is to look at her peers’ reactions to her. Stephen Curry brought his daughters to several games and has raved about the talent Ionescu possesses. As mentioned earlier, Kobe Bryant thought highly enough of Ionescu to let her help teach his Mamba Academy girls team. Sue Bird talked about how easily Ionescu scored 30 points helping Oregon knock off the Women’s National Team. There are several other examples, but the three aforementioned players will go down in history as some of the greatest to ever play and they took the time on several occasions to support Ionescu.
Sabrina Ionescu Makes History…Again
Not only did Ionescu win AP Player of the Year, but she was also named AP All-American. This is the third straight year she was named First Team All-American. She is the eighth player to be selected three times, joining extremely elite company. Other players to reach this feat are A’ja Wilson, Maya Moore, and Breanna Stewart.
Ionescu will now be the number one pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft which is owned by the New York Liberty. She chose to return to school to win a National Championship and while she did not reach that goal, she solidified her position among the best to ever play. Ionescu helped establish the Oregon Ducks as the dominant women’s team on the west coast. She helped elevate the game of women’s basketball. Ionescu will forever be a role model for little girls everywhere.
Now, she will stake her claim in the WNBA. It does not matter where she plays, every time she laces her sneakers, Ionescu has a chance to record a triple-double and ruin opponent’s lives.