Sabrina Ionescu solely performed two full video games earlier than her first WNBA season got here to a devastating finish.
Now, virtually a 12 months later, the 23-year-old New York celebrity Liberty thinks she deserves one other rookie 12 months.
However the league has different plans.
“I do not assume they allowed me to be categorised as a rookie once more as a result of I performed two video games,” Ionescu advised Insider. “However I think about myself to be my first 12 months, as a result of I’ve performed two video games.”
Though her 2020 season within the WNBA bubble has been minimize brief, the primary draft decide has proven promise within the 78 minutes she has spent on the courtroom. She had 12 factors, six rebounds and 4 assists in her league debut towards a Seattle Storm crew led by superstars. Sue Bird and Breanna stewart. The storm turned the WNBA Champions.
Ionescu’s efficiency in his subsequent recreation reminded him of his days as an Oregon Geese celebrity. In school, she was the reigning triple-double queen of the NCAA and have become the primary participant – male or feminine – in Division I historical past to report 2,000 profession factors, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds.
In a recreation towards the Dallas Wings 4 days after his WNBA debut, Ionescu broke for 33 points on 11 out of 20 shoots from the bottom and 60% shot past the arc. With seven rebounds and 7 dimes as well, the younger level guard turned the primary Liberty participant to report a 30-5-5 stat line up to now 5 seasons.
However 12 minutes into the subsequent recreation, Ionescu turned his left ankle whereas dribbling within the frontcourt and fell on hardwood. She hobbled off the sphere with the assistance of her teammates and didn’t come again.
Medical employees identified Ionescu with a Grade 3 sprain and he or she left the WNBA bubble in Florida to see a specialist in New York and in rehab. His rookie season was formally over.
Ionescu advised Insider that she looks like she missed out on many experiences which can be attribute of a typical rookie season. She didn’t have the prospect to face 75% of the groups within the league and the vast majority of its players. She additionally did not get an opportunity to compete for Rookie of the Yr, an award many anticipated to win.
However the WNBA ranks its rookies the identical means the NBA does. As quickly as a participant enters the sphere in an official league match, he’s thought of to have performed that season. Ionescu wouldn’t be thought of a rookie this 12 months although she suffered a late season damage one minute after her first recreation.
“For me, that is my first 12 months,” Ionescu mentioned, discussing a campaign she is doing for Bodyarmor. “However for the league, I assume that is not the case, which does not actually make a whole lot of sense.”
Ionescu looks to the future, However. 9 months after struggling her damage – and virtually six months since she had ankle surgery – she formally lives in New York and is making ready for the 2021 season with the Liberty.
“I am actually completely happy to return again on the pitch and begin taking part in once more,” mentioned Ionescu. “I have been ready for this time for some time now after being injured final season. So I am actually excited to begin taking part in, so the video games begin and the followers are within the area.”