Warriors

Warriors

We all knew it was coming, but it became official Friday.

With the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft, the New York Liberty selected Oregon star and Walnut Creek native Sabrina Ionescu.

Ionescu was a transcendent star at Oregon. She became the first player in NCAA history -- men's or women's -- to record 2,000 points, 1,000 rebound and 1,000 assists. She also notched 26 career triple-doubles, besting the previous NCAA record set by BYU's Kyle Collinsworth by 14.

The dynamic guard can do it all. She's got a deadly jump shot, a crossover that will break your ankles watching at home, almost unrivaled court vision and intense drive to be great.

Ionescu became the face of college basketball during her senior season at Oregon, thrust even further into the spotlight by the tragic death of her friend and mentor Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. Ionescu handled the public tragedy with a grace and humanity that rarely is shown by those in the public eye.

She also has developed a strong friendship with Warriors star Steph Curry, who she sees as a "big brother."

"The competitive nature that she has, you can't teach that," Curry told Pac-12 Network's Kate Scott when Ionescu played Cal in February. "She could be blessed with all the talent in the world, but if she didn't have that, she wouldn't be who she was."

[RELATED: Ionescu can have transcendent effect on WNBA, women's hoops]

 

Ionescu had the Ducks firing on all cylinders heading into March Madness but the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) forced the NCAA to cancel the men's and women's basketball tournaments, abruptly ending Ionescu's historic college career.

Now she'll head to New York looking to turn around the Liberty, something she's more than capable of achieving.

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