Oregon Ducks

Oregon Ducks

As Ionescu approaches the beginning of her professional career, one of the nation's most popular women's basketball players has the enormous decision of which shoe brand to sign with.

The choices have been narrowed down to Nike, Puma and Under Armour.

That last one has a powerful spokesperson recruiting college basketball's all-time leader in triple-doubles, Steph Curry, who Ionescu described as her "big brother" last week.

 "I think he texts me almost every day," Ionescu revealed this week on NBC Sports Bay Area's Runnin' Plays Podcast. "He's working hard."

As for which way she's leaning, the GOAT didn't tip her hand but said there are pros and cons to each brand.

"I have not made a shoe deal decision yet on who to sign with but obviously I have a great relationship with Steph so that part's kind of hard. And I have a great relationship with Nike because I've been Nike for ten years and then Puma's also kind of on the up and coming. There's a lot of pros and cons to all of them. And so it's kind of hard trying to figure out who I want to go with and what the best fit would be." 

As an Oregon Duck, Ionescu played for a University with a heavy Nike influence due to generous donations from alumni CEO of Nike, Phil Knight, dubbed "Uncle Phil" by all Ducks. 

 

She also grew up in the Bay Area as a Golden State Warriors fan and even attended the Western Conference Finals last season in Portland repping DubNation. The two have become close as she rose to fame as the face of women's college basketball to now working out at the same gym together during the pandemic while keeping the necessary six-feet of space to be safe.

She discussed their relationship in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Northwest's Dwight Jaynes. 

Now being able to pick up the phone, FaceTime him, call him, see him at the gym. It’s really crazy to think of, you know, I don’t really see him as a basketball player. I see him as a person and a friend, almost like a big brother. It’s been cool to see our relationship grow and continue to grow. 

He stopped by to say ‘Hi’ and we were just joking around. We all kept our distance in the gym, far away from each other. He was shooting some shots in the background, so I was like ‘Hey, I’m going to record you from 6ft away.’ Wasn’t expecting it to go viral but it did so we kind of laughed about it after. 

Earlier in the podcast, Sabrina told the Runnin' Plays hosts that she would love to have a signature shoe or clothing line with whomever she signs with and given her popularity that seems like it's a matter of when rather than if.