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Sabrina Ionescu among top 10 of Yahoo! Sports athletes under 25

Sabrina Ionescu among top 10 of Yahoo! Sports athletes under 25

It is safe to say that Sabrina Ionescu is one of the most popular young sports figures in the world right now.

The 22-year-old has accomplished a lot in such a short period of time-- and to think, she hasn’t even started her professional career yet.

Ionescu is just months removed from finishing up her historic collegiate career and was drafted by the New York Liberty No. 1 overall in the WNBA Draft.

Her accomplishments and clout have made her among the top athletes under 25 years of age.

The article ranked the 25 best athletes under 25, placing Ionescu at No. 6 ahead of famous young football and basketball stars like Christian McCaffrey, Saquan Barkley, and Ja Morant and Trae Young.

Cassandra Negley, a writer for Yahoo Sports, wrote about how impactful Ionescu will continue to be when she begins her career in the WNBA.

While she won’t be piling up triple-doubles like she did in college, and she won’t have the numbers that she did there, either, she will dazzle in a Liberty system built to allow her to shine. No. 1 draft picks typically go on to prolific professional careers and she will be no different.

The top-5 have not yet been revealed, but Ionescu is the highest-rated female in the field so far!

Ionescu has a lot of expectations to live up to, with finishing her collegiate career as the all-time leader in triple-doubles, as well as the first to ever score 2,000 points, grab 1,000 rebounds and dish out 1,000 assists 

After being drafted by the New York Liberty as the first overall pick last month, she signed an endorsement deal with Nike.

Being in the top 10 of a stacked list of athletes is just another item on the list of that Ionescu continues to check off.

The future is bright for Ionescu, we will just have to wait and see what records she will break in the WNBA.

Be sure to get caught up with your favorite teams by downloading the latest podcast from NBCSNW.

'Sabrina' is going to mean a lot more to the WNBA than just triple-doubles

'Sabrina' is going to mean a lot more to the WNBA than just triple-doubles

She’s going to become the face of the WNBA. It won’t be long before saying “Sabrina Ionescu” will be so redundant.

It’s going to be just plain “Sabrina.” Just like it’s Magic, LeBron and Kobe.

You can talk about her 26 triple-doubles in college or being the only collegiate player -- male or female -- to total 2,000 points, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds in a career and that’s spectacular stuff.

But this is a lot more than a basketball player. She’s going to take women’s basketball places it hasn’t been before. I had seen several of her interviews over the past three or four years, but after a 20-minute Skype session with her recently, I came away with a one-word reaction:

Wow.

There are people who have some charisma and there are others who have a heaping helping of it. Sabrina has a truckload. She’s smart and poised enough to have delivered a beautiful eulogy at Kobe Bryant’s memorial service, before a packed Staples Center crowd and a national television audience.

And you watch her on a court with teammates and see the great leadership qualities, too.

She has that “it” quality that even some of the great players don’t possess.

I think NBA players see it. They love her grit, intensity and how hard she competes. And their respect is an important bridge between the NBA and WNBA -- which is something the women’s league needs.

The WNBA will likely never draw the TV ratings of the NBA, but those numbers need to be higher and Sabrina can be a big part of that.

It’s apparent she has a great chance to earn more money than any female basketball player has ever made. She’s already signed with Beats by Dre and Nike and she’s going to move product for every company wise enough to sign her. Her Liberty replica jersey sold out in an hour.

I would expect Nike to go all in with her -- not only a signature shoe, but perhaps even her own apparel line.

Oh, and her pro team, the New York Liberty, is out from under the dark shadow of James Dolan and the Knicks and will play in the Barclay Center in Brooklyn -- so it has a chance to be a solid franchise.

But her story is going to be about more than money and basketball. She seems to be a person who will use her notoriety to forward social causes that are special to her. She could be an off-the-court force.

In that regard, her partnership with Nike has a chance to lead to some very special promotional campaigns.

It’s going to be so interesting to see where basketball takes Sabrina.

And even more exciting to see where Sabrina takes basketball.

Trail Blazers share workouts at home, encourage social distancing

Trail Blazers share workouts at home, encourage social distancing

Just six days ago, Nike announced the company would be closing its stores in select countries through March 27 amid COVID-19 outbreak.

Now Nike is doing its part along with its brand athletes to promote staying at home and following the recommendations of health officials.

Nike dropped a new ad campaign this weekend, asking people to stay inside and practice social distancing. Along with the ad, Nike is giving access to the premium features of the Nike Training Club (NTC) app free of charge.

“If you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance," the ad reads. "Play inside, play for the world.”

[RELATED]: Nike encourages U.S.-based employees to work from home 

Nike athletes from all over the world began sharing the campaign to their Instagram including some of your favorite Trail Blazers.

Along with a photo of himself in the gym, Jusuf Nurkic posted to his Instagram, “Now more than ever, we are one team. #playinside #playfortheworld @Nike”

Anefernee Simons also took to his Instagram to share the message with his fans to stay home as we all try to flatten the curve of the coronavirus.

As for Nassir Little, he captioned the Nike campaign on his Instagram with “It’s up to us‼ Don’t need anything major, a simple jump rope will do.”

While Mario Hezonja, who has been very active on social media and in the video gaming world of Twitch during the NBA hiatus, he posted on his Instagram, “We are One.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-AqudCFbIi/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Besides the sponsored Nike Trail Blazer players, some of the brand’s top athletes, like Sue Bird, Tiger Woods, Ellena Delle Donne, and Serena Williams have also shared this message of staying inside across their social platforms as well.

In addition to urging people to stay home, last week, Nike announced it would be committing more than $15 million toward fighting the coronavirus

Play inside, play for the world.

Report: Nike, Phil Knight committing more than $15M in COVID-19 aid

Report: Nike, Phil Knight committing more than $15M in COVID-19 aid

Nike and co-founder Phil Knight are offering us all a little bit of light during a challenging and uncertain time. 

Phil Knight, along with the company he founded, executive chairman Mark Parker and president & CEO John Donahoe are contributing more than $15M in COVID-19 assistance. 

This according to Darren Rovell:

Knight, Parker, and Donahoe alone will contribute a combined $10M of their own money.

The Oregon-based company is also doing its part to help its employees, improve statewide care coordination, increase access for COVID-19 patients and help prepare for expanded diagnostic testing.

"We are coming together to support communities where our employees live and work," said a Nike global corporate communications spokesperson.

According to KGW-TV, $10 million of the money being donated would be dedicated locally to the Oregon Food BankOregon Health & Science University, and a recovery fund created by the Oregon Community Foundation.

Nike already donated more than $1 million to China Youth Development Foundation back in January to help provide supplies and equipment to treat COVID-19 patients.

NBCSNW reported late last week that if Nike was forced to close any of its stores or distribution centers, those who are unable to work from home would receive paid time off and will not be required to take PTO.

Two days after that report, Nike announced they would be closing retail stores.

With stores closing, Nike is staying true to its word and helping those employees affected. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold, Nike is making sure it does everything it can to help.

USA Basketball suspends all events, cancels Nike Hoop Summit

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USATI

USA Basketball suspends all events, cancels Nike Hoop Summit

More breaking news from the sports world Friday as USA Basketball has suspended all events until further notice and canceled the 2020 Nike Hoop Summit.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the USA Basketball Board of Directors felt suspending operations was the best move to ensure the health and safety of its players, staff, and fans. 

The news has a great impact on the city of Portland, as the Nike Hoop Summit has called Moda Center home since 2008. 

The event draws thousands of fans to Portland, and over its time 28 future NBA All-Star and four future NBA MVPs have played in the game.

Another local impact of the decision will be felt by Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard.

Lillard is on the current 44-man Team USA roster and is hopeful to make the cut for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

Lillard has already committed himself to play in the Olympics should he make the final roster.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to start on July 24th. 

Below is the full press release from Team USA:

The USA Basketball Board of Directors announced that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and out of concern for the health and safety of the athletes, coaches, staff and fans, it was suspending all USA Basketball scheduled events until further notice and that it was cancelling the 2020 Nike Hoop Summit that was scheduled for April 10 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.  USA Basketball’s suspension of upcoming events includes the 2020 Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals, which will be rescheduled for a later date. USA Basketball will continue to monitor the situation and remain in contact with the many stakeholders involved, including the USOPC, FIBA, NBA, WNBA, NCAA and Center for Disease Control. 

Fans who purchased 2020 Nike Hoop Summit tickets from Ticketmaster or the Rose Quarter Box Office, will be refunded. No additional action is needed. If tickets were ordered from Ticketmaster or the Rose Quarter Box Office, you will receive additional information via email. Your refund will be automatically delivered (except applicable fees) to the same card used for purchase. Refunds should be received within 30 business days after the date of cancellation. Customers with questions about the refund process may send inquires to the Rose Quarter via email to rq.boxoffice@rosequarter.com.

 

Sabrina Ionescu jerseys are here but already sold out

Sabrina Ionescu jerseys are here but already sold out

Oregon senior superstar Sabrina Ionescu is tearing up the record books and becoming a household name. Fresh off a Final Four run, Ionescu and the top-ranked Oregon women’s basketball team have their sights on winning it all this season and earning the program’s first national title. And now, Ducks fans can represent the “Triple-Double Queen.”

Well, once the number 20 jerseys are back in stock, that is.

On Monday afternoon, the Oregon Duck store released a “White Nike Replica Oregon #20 Basketball Jersey” for $75. As of Tuesday morning, the jerseys are sold out in every size. No word on when an official re-stock may happen.

Nike will begin to sell a number 20 Oregon college replica jersey in apple green later in the basketball season. The Duck store will also carry it.

The chance for Oregon fans to purchase the replica jerseys is a long time coming. Ionescu has made her opinion known on social media and fans began a petition to Nike in April.

Ionescu’s support worked and the female star tweeted her gratification.

Oregon’s next game is at home versus Utah State on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Oregon football swagged out in "Nightmare Green" this Saturday

Oregon football swagged out in "Nightmare Green" this Saturday

The well-rested No. 13 Oregon Ducks will be sporting "Nightmare Green" and yellow in their Pac-12 Conference home opener vs. California on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Reaction from Oregon fans has been polarizing, either loving or hating the newest color addition. Duck fans are encouraged to wear green in Autzen Stadium on Saturday. 

Oregon's "Nike Vapor Fusion" uniform is celebrating its 20th anniversary of their partnership with Nike. The winged helmets are back and the jerseys feature large "Mighty Oregon" font resembling last season's "Oregon Football 2.0" uniform with slight differences. The addition of Nightmare Green is the biggest change while notably no black set was released (yet). 

Oregon (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) is the only remaining team in the North Division without a loss and looking to stay atop of the North standings. The Ducks have won nine of their last 10 games against Cal (4-1, 1-1) and scored 40 or more points in the last eight matchups vs. the Golden Bears.

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Oregon vs. California: 10 numbers to know

Official: What Oregon is getting with transfer receiver Devon Williams

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Oregon's new uniforms feature new "Nightmare Green" color

Oregon's new uniforms feature new "Nightmare Green" color

The Oregon Ducks unveiled their 2019 "Nike Vapor Fusion" uniform. The winged helmets are back and the jerseys feature large "Mighty Oregon" font resembling last season's "Oregon Football 2.0" uniform with slight differences. The addition of ‘Nightmare Green’ is the biggest change while notably no black set was released (yet). 

The new uniform style is celebrating Oregon's 20th anniversary of their partnership with Nike. Fan reaction on social media has been overwhelmingly positive. Here is a look at the five different sets. What do you think?

Trying to keep up with the Ducks? Bad news from Saturday: Wide reeceiver Mycah Pittman injured in Oregon Ducks scrimmage

Altman says Bol Bol, Nike, Oregon accusations are inaccurate

Altman says Bol Bol, Nike, Oregon accusations are inaccurate

Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti has accused Nike of making cash payments to two top recruits and Pac-12 conference athletes.

Avenatti claims that both University of Oregon freshman, projected lottery pick Bol Bol, and current Suns rookie, former Arizona Wildcat Deandre Ayton, received funds from Nike in a recruitment scheme but provided no specifics or evidence to support his claims.

On Tuesday, fresh out of jail after he reportedly tried to extort Nike for more than $20 million, Avenatti tweeted his allegations.

Altman met with the media Tuesday morning ahead of the Ducks’ trip to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 and was asked about the allegations. Altman told reporters he had “no reason to believe any of it’s accurate”.

Ayton was linked to the Adidas recruiting scandal involving over 20 schools that resulted in three men receiving prison sentences.

Avenatti also alleged that Nike is attempting to "cover up" corruption that precipitates from the "highest levels" of the company.

Greg Rossiter, a company spokesman, reissued Nike’s statement from Monday after authorities arrested Avenatti.

“Nike will not be extorted or hide information that is relevant to a government investigation,” he said.

Uniform update: Oregon's road digs

Uniform update: Oregon's road digs

Oregon's first road game of the season is this Saturday against the undefeated No. 24 Cal Bears. The Ducks' will be wearing all white and chrome for the Pac-12-After-Dark (7:35 p.m. kickoff) matchup. 

The winged helmets are back and the jerseys feature a new large "Mighty Oregon" font. The jerseys are more simple than years past. Fans are also encouraged to wear white. 

Victory is vital for Oregon this Saturday to keep Pac-12 Title hopes alive. I wrote about how the Ducks' loss to Stanford doesn't define them, but their October might.

Did you know the NCAA tightened restrictions on CFB uniforms?

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Oregon RB Taj Griffin tweets that he is looking to leave

Despite loss, "Oregon football 2.0" has arrived