Oregon Ducks

Oregon Ducks

It didn’t take long for Sabrina Ionescu to become the talk of the WNBA. One game, to be precise.

The No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft has already made headlines in the national media.

Although the New York Liberty lost in the 2020 WNBA season-opener to the Seattle Storm, Ionescu’s stat line was definitely impressive for her first professional game: 12 points, six rebounds and four assists. It was very Sabrina-like. However, if you’ve followed Ionescu throughout her historic college days and understand her competitive nature, you know that what stuck out to her were shooting 0-for-8 from three-point range and four turnovers. 

[Listen and download for free ‘Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football].

After her debut, Ionescu caught up with a friend over FaceTime: Golden State Warriors point guard and NBA MVP Steph Curry.

[RELATED]: Inside Sabrina Ionescu's relationship with “big brother” Steph Curry

Here’s a little background on their ‘big-brother-little-sister’ friendship:

Ionescu, a Walnut Creek, California native, grew up a Golden State Warriors fan and would drive 16.5 miles west on CA-24 to watch her team from the stands of Oracle Arena. Her soon-to-be favorite player entered the league in 2009, when the Warriors used the No. 7 overall pick to draft sharp-shooter Stephen Curry from Davidson College. 

Curry returned the favor, attending Oregon’s away game against the Cal Golden Bears during Pac-12 conference play in Berkeley, California. He brought his daughters, Riley and Ryan, and the three sat front row to watch the player who he hopes his daughters can aspire to be some day. If they want to play basketball growing up, Curry said he would play them Ionescu’s highlights and say, "This is how you play the game the right way.”

 

Just two players that have changed the game of basketball forever.

Following that FaceTime call with Curry, Ionescu erupted for 33 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in her second WNBA game. She hit 6-for-10 from three-point range.

What also should be noted is the stat line 22-year-old Ionescu recorded is the exact stat line that 22-year-old Kobe Bryant also recorded:

Coincidence? We don’t think so.

[Listen to the full Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Josh Jamieson, Director of Operations of Oregon men’s basketball].