It wasn’t much of a secret who the New York Liberty were going to take at number one on Friday night in the WNBA Draft as Sabrina Ionescu paved the way for three Oregon Ducks to be taken in the first round.
While the WNBA Draft had a different look with players, coaches, and the WNBA Commissioner all tucked away in their homes, the virtual event went off well. Moments into the broadcast, Sabrina Ionescu was selected as the number one overall pick by the New York Liberty. Ionescu would also sign a contract with Nike a short time later for an endorsement deal.
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When the WNBA Season gets rolling, she will be the face of the franchise in Brooklyn. The star player from Oregon will be front and center in New York.
Oregon Women’s Basketball had two other players taken in the first round. Satou Sabally was selected second. It is the first time in several years that two teammates were selected back to back to start the WNBA Draft. Sabally announced earlier this year that she was leaving the Ducks early to go to the professional ranks. The Junior apparently rethought her decision briefly once the coronavirus pandemic ended what was most certainly a Final Four season for the Ducks.
Satou Sabally will start her career in Dallas.
Ruthy Hebard, who had a chance to reunite with Ionescu was selected by the Chicago Sky at number eight. She will have the chance to succeed with Courtney Vandersloot who is very Ionescu-like in her approach. It will be entertaining to say the least when these three teams play each other.
The 2020 WNBA Draft is the first time that not only an Oregon player has been taken in the first round, but also the first time any Oregon player has been taken number one. Friday night was a celebration that was set in motion in 2016 with the arrival of Ionescu and Hebard on campus in Eugene.
The WNBA Season is slated to get started on May 24th.