With the 2020 WNBA draft fast approaching, presumed No. 1 overall pick Sabrina Ionescu stands at the onset of the next chapter of her career. As she prepares for life as a professional basketball player, a big decision awaits: Which shoe company will the 2020 AP player of the year choose to sign with?
Companies courting Ionescu include Under Armour, Nike and Puma, according to NBC Sports' Logan Murdock. One potential advantage for Under Armour: an ace in the hole on the recruiting front in two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry.
According to Murdock, Curry has been steadfast in his attempt to recruit Ionescu to Under Armour, where Curry has been signed since 2013. His recruiting pitches have been a near everyday occurrence.
"I think he texts me almost every day," Ionescu told NBC Sports Bay Area's Runnin' Plays Podcast. "He's working hard."
Getting Ionescu to commit to Under Armour would be viewed as quite a feat, considering her ties to Nike. She wore the brand during her high school career, and of course at Oregon, where Nike co-founder Phil Knight is a major donor to the athletic department.
But Ionescu's public friendship with Curry is well documented. They've each attended one another's games, with Curry watching Ionescu record her 25th triple-double with his daughters. The two have even trained together while the NBA season has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic—though they've maintained a distance of six feet apart.
Still, whichever sneaker company she chooses will be based on multiple factors, aside from her and Curry's friendship.
"I have a great relationship with Steph and so that part's kind of hard," Ionescu told to NBC Sports. "Because I've been Nike for 10 years. And then Puma's also kind of on the up-and-coming. So there's a lot of pros and cons to all of them. And so it's kind of been hard trying to figure out who I want to go with and what the best fit would be."