Sabrina Ionescu: A young star rising in the northwest

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Sabrina Ionescu, sophomore basketball player at University of Oregon, has just received her second Metro Player of the Year and National Player of the Year award. Her play commands attention and demonstrates her strength, vision and coordination. She leads the Pac-12 in scoring and assists and has recorded more triple-doubles than anyone in the history of women’s basketball. The Oregon Ducks are beating competitors by an average of 21.4 points a game with Ionescu’s power shooting, which averages 49.6 percent. Last week, she also was named EPSN’s First Team All American.

Even with all of her accomplishments, Ionescu still believes that she has a lot of work to do in order to improve her game. In an interview with ESPN, she shared her goals.

“I think a part of my game I want to work on is defense, for sure,” Ionescu said. “It’s something we have to do as a team, too, but it definitely starts individually. And then just being able to score the ball better, and create more on my own. And just be able to impact the game any way I can.”

Ionescu showed her competitiveness as a power player even when she was young. She grew up playing against the boys and did extra training with the football team in order to improve her strength and endurance. This work ethic caught the eyes of many scouts and recruits throughout her youth. However, Ionescu was one of the last of her teammates to commit to a university. Ionescu decided to wait and watch the performance of various teams in order to feel out the talent and what school she would have the best fit at. She decided on Oregon. Since that choice, she has dominated and become an essential player on their team from day one. Ionescu scored 36 points in the game against Stanford University last week.

Ionescu doesn’t just represent talent, however, but the importance of pure work ethic and determination. Kelly Graves, Ionescu’s Coach, discussed the impact Sabrina has had on Oregon Women’s Basketball.

“There’s no question. She’s our leader on the floor. She has help, but people look to her to set a tone. She is vocal, and she leads by example. She’s our hardest-working player, and I think she’s a really significant leader,” Graves said.

Her leadership skills demonstrate the importance of determination and she has shown that younger athletes have the ability to significantly impact their sport. She leads by example for her teammates and has shown her competitors that Oregon basketball will do anything to win.

Photo courtesy of the Daily Emerald

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