The familiarity with the big stage for Oregon women’s basketball keeps growing. Just 31 days following a NCAA Final Four loss, four Ducks traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada for the USA 3x3 basketball tournament: Sabrina Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard, Oti Gildon and Lydia Giomi.
If you’re unfamiliar with the rules of 3x3, it is first to 21 points shooting two’s and three’s using only half a court.
The championship game ended with Sabrina on the free throw line, a place where she dominates shooting .883% last season. She calmly and cooly drained two free throws to claim the title, 21-20.
The Ducks are now back-to-back USA 3x3 tournament champs after last season’s team of Ionescu, Hebard, Gildon, and Erin Boley took home the gold as well. Ionescu also earned the back-to-back MVP Award.
Why this matters
Sabrina’s “Unfinished Business” for this upcoming basketball season begins with a championship win. After announcing she would forgo the WNBA Draft (the projected No. 1 pick) and return to Oregon for her senior season via a letter in the Players Tribune, Sabrina has all eyes set on a National Championship.
Obviously, playing 3x3 is much different than 5x5 as it is a lot quicker movements and more pick-and-roll action on a smaller court (just half). The Ducks who have already proven just how dominant their pick-and-roll game is (with Ionescu and Hebard) now have another weapon to turn to: Giomi. The 6’6” junior from Seattle, Washington saw some playing time this past season, but mostly sat behind both Hebard (the starter) and Gildon. But Gildon is a graduating senior and her departure will possibly open the door for more minutes for Giomi.
After the championship victory, Giomi said, “I see Sabrina every single day of my life, but for others, she’s something crazy,” said Giomi. “One thing you realize, even when you’re in practice – Sabrina’s team always wins.”