A small gesture but one that sends a powerful message today.
As Oregon senior guard Sabrina Ionescu took the court ahead of part two of this Civil War series with red eyes and puffy cheeks, there was a small message hand-written on her shoes: “Forever 24.”
Host of Crunchtime/SportsTalk on CBS radio Steve Tannen snapped the picture.
Sabrina and Kobe have met several times in person. He attended Oregon’s game at USC last season. He critiqued her game on his show ‘Detail.’ She wrote about it in her letter to Duck Nation via the Players Tribune. To have one of the best to ever play the game critique your own is of the utmost respect and honor.
As always in the stands was Sabrina’s father, sporting a #20 Nike green jersey sitting two rows behind the Oregon bench at Gill Coliseum.
Before the game, here are his words and advice to his daughter during this tough time:
Of all the times you worked with him, of all the phone calls. You deserve to play for him and his legacy. Go out and do it today. Go out and play for Kobe — Ionescu’s father.
ESPN talked with Sabrina Ionescu's father before the game.— Kevin Wade (@KwadeSays) January 26, 2020
He told Sabrina, “Of all the times you worked with him, of all the phone calls. You deserve to play for him and his legacy. Go out and do it today. Go out and play for Kobe” pic.twitter.com/xqccxvTwrB
We couldn’t agree more.