The New York Liberty drafted Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu with the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft on Friday.
Ionescu was the consensus No. 1 pick heading into the draft, and she was expected to be taken by the Liberty. She enters the WNBA after one of the greatest collegiate careers in history.
During her senior season, Ionescu broke a slate of NCAA records. The Walnut Creek, Calif., native became the first player in NCAA Division I history (male or female) to record 2,000 career points, 1,000 career assists and 1,000 career rebounds. She also finished her college career with a record 26 triple-doubles.
The 5'11" guard dominated the Pac-12 before the 2019-20 season was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Ionescu averaged 17.5 points and 9.2 assists per game, and she ranked third in the conference in rebounding as Oregon cruised to its third consecutive Pac-12 championship. She won two consecutive Wooden Awards and became only the eighth player to earn AP All-American honors three times.
Last year, Ionescu bypassed the WNBA draft after Oregon lost to Baylor in the national semifinals. She instead chose to return to school in hopes of taking home a national title.
The WNBA draft looks different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league held the event virtually with commissioner Cathy Engelbert announcing the draft picks on TV. The WNBA remained hopeful in early spring that the upcoming 2020 season, which was scheduled to begin on May 15, would not be affected. However, after the federal government extended the nationwide social distancing guidelines in early April through the end of the month, the league postponed the start of training camp and the season.
The Liberty went 10–24 last season and finished fifth in the Eastern Conference.