- Just one game into the WNBA season, Sabrina Ionescu is already on a tear for the New York Liberty.
- The 2020 No. 1 pick hit a dazzling, game-winning three in her first home game in New York City.
- She finished with 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 11 assists — two boards shy of a triple-double.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Sabrina Ionescu has wasted no time taking New York City by storm.
The Liberty star drained an off-balance, dazzling three with less than a second on the clock to lift her squad past the Indiana Fever in her first WNBA game in New York. And she had a simple explanation for why she came up big in the pressure-packed moment:
“I wanted it,” Ionescu said.
Sabrina Ionescu reacts after making her game-winning shot.
AP Photo/Adam Hunger
And she never had a doubt in her mind that if she put up a shot, it would go in. During her postgame comments to the media, Ionescu said she had dreamt about taking a game-winning shot the night before the magical moment came to fruition.
“When we were tied and were walking into the huddle, I was just smiling because it was almost too good to be true,” Ionescu said. “I was like ‘I’m gonna hit this.'”
Ionescu had an incredible game even before she hit the game-winner for her squad. With 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 11 assists in the contest, the 5-foot-11 guard was just four rebounds shy of a triple double. And though she accrued more triple-doubles than any other player, man or woman, in NCAA history during her time as an Oregon Ducks superstar, she’s yet to record one in the WNBA.
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
To be fair, it’s just her fourth game in the pros. Ionescu got off to a hot start during the 2020 WNBA season, but her rookie campaign came to a startling halt just as quickly as it had begun. She suffered an ankle sprain during the Liberty’s third game of the year and left the WNBA bubble shortly thereafter to undergo surgery.
In the 10 months since, Ionescu — a dogged competitor — has been itching to return to the hardwood. Needless to say, she was prepared.
“I was just ready for the moment,” she said. “I’ve been waiting a while to get back on the court.”
AP Photo/Adam Hunger
Ionescu’s head coach — Walt Hopkins — was elated to see his young star excel on the Liberty’s home court at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. During his postgame press conference, Hopkins gushed about watching Ionescu bring the same intensity in practice that came through for his team during their 2021 season debut.
“She has a pretty special way of rising to the moment,” Hopkins said. “Those big-time situations is where she really shines. It’s what she lives for.”
“I’m pretty excited that she’s on my team,” he added.
Check out Ionescu’s incredible game-winner below:
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.