Sabrina Ionescu Surprises Iowa Basketball Team With Nike Shoes Ahead of Final Four

Feb 17, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu (20) talks about the All-Star Game.
Feb 17, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu (20) talks about the All-Star Game. / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa women's basketball team hosted a special guest ahead of Friday's Final Four matchup against UConn: New York Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu.

As one of the biggest names in the WNBA, Ionescu wanted to inspire and motivate the Hawkeyes by giving them an uplifting speech, then surprising the team with brand new Nike shoes—specifically her Sabrina 1's. The shoes were yellow with the Hawkeye logo on them.

Ionescu spoke with the players after the surprise. She hugged the players, too, including star Caitlin Clark.

"Enjoy playing for one another," Ionescu said to the team in a video shared on social media. "You're never going to get another room like this, there's never going to be another team that you guys are going to be on that's like this. Be proud of how you guys have represented yourself, represented your team and what you've done for everyone, not just Iowa basketball."

The WNBA star reached one Final Four during her career at Oregon in 2019. The Ducks didn't reach the final, though, unlike Iowa last year.

The Hawkeyes will take on UConn at 9:30 p.m. ET on Friday, with a return trip to the championship game on the line.


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Madison Williams

MADISON WILLIAMS

Madison Williams is a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated, where she has covered the entire sports landscape since 2022. She specializes in tennis, but covers a wide range of sports from a national perspective. Before joining Sports Illustrated, Madison worked with The Sporting News. She hails from Augustana College and completed a Master’s in Sports Media at Northwestern University. Madison is a dog mom and an avid reader.