Sabrina Ionescu had a pretty powerful and impactful Monday.
Ionescu of one of a handful of people that had the honor of sharing some kind words at Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s memorial service.
Ionescu delivered a moving speech and talked about her relationship with the Bryants, and about how she wanted herself and others to follow Kobe’s lead in pushing forward women’s basketball.
She spent her Monday night making college basketball history. Ionescu became first Division 1 player (men’s or women’s) to amass 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 1,000 career assists.
Ionescu would eventually finish with 21 points, 12 assists and 12 rebounds in a 74-66 Oregon win, clinching a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title. It was her eighth triple-double of the season, tying her own NCAA record set last year.
Ionescu on-court performance after delivering a moving speech may have been the best way to honor Kobe.
“Being able to speak was such an honor for me,” Ionescu said in a postgame interview with ESPN. “[Reaching the milestone] was for [Kobe]. We had talked about it in the preseason. I can’t really put that into words. He’s looking down and really proud of me.”
Ionescu is widely expected to be selected first overall in the upcoming WNBA draft. How fitting, the New York Liberty has that first pick this year. New York has been looking for a basketball savior for years, how ironic, it could be a woman that becomes the savior.
Ionescu is the definition of Mamba mentality. With transcending stars like herself, the WNBA and women’s basketball will be in good hands.