The New York Liberty selected star Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu with the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA Draft on Friday night. With all players, family and media watching from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, commissioner Cathy Engelbert read the pick during the live broadcast, making Ionescu the first No. 1 overall pick in franchise history.
During her four years at Oregon, Ionescu redefined men's and women's NCAA basketball. She averaged 18 points per game with the Ducks and finished her collegiate career with 26 triple-doubles, more than twice as many as the previous high. She shattered the Pac-12 record for assists, finishing in fourth place in NCAA history.
Hours after speaking at Kobe Bryant's Celebration of Life, the three-time All-American became the first player in NCAA history to record 2,000 points, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds, leading No. 3 Oregon to a win over Stanford.
Ionescu was not able to finish the 2019-20 season and play for a national title due to the suspension of collegiate sports amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Nonetheless, her past successes suggest that she will make an immediate impact with the Liberty.
The Liberty welcomed five other players to New York on Friday night:
Round 1, Pick 9: Forward Megan Walker, UConn
Round 1, Pick 10: Guard/Forward Jocelyn Willoughby, University of Virginia
Round 1, Pick 12: Guard Jazmine Jones, University of Louisville
Round 2, Pick 13: Forward Kylee Shook, University of Louisville
Round 2, Pick 15: Forward Leaonna Odom, Duke University