News Trending Viral Worldwide

Sabrina Ionescu Knows Kobe Bryant Is ‘Looking Down On Me Smiling’ After Going No. 1 In The WNBA Draft

In the no-brainer to end all no-brainers, Oregon standout Sabrina Ionescu went No. 1 overall in the 2020 WNBA Draft on Friday night. One of the greatest college basketball players ever, Ionescu had a decorated career with the Ducks and will now serve as the face of the New York Liberty’s youth movement.

While it was hardly a surprise that she went No. 1, it was still a gigantic evening for Ionescu, even beyond all the obvious reasons why this is such a big deal. Ionescu famously viewed the late Kobe Bryant as a mentor, while the soon-to-be Hall of Fame inductee cherished their friendship. During the early hours of Saturday morning, Ionescu posted a picture of herself with Bryant, saying that while there is “more work to do,” she know’s he’s “looking down on me smiling.”

Back on Jan. 16, Bryant praised Ionescu on Twitter following a 37-point outburst against Stanford that made her Oregon’s all-time leading scorer, while Ionescu spoke at Bryant’s memorial service at Staples Center in February.

Beyond Ionescu, Friday was a franchise-altering evening for the Liberty, which had six picks in the draft, including a trio of first-round selections. New York used the No. 9 pick in the first round to select Megan Walker, a small forward from UConn, then gave Ionescu a backcourt partner with the round’s final selection in Louisville guard Jazmine Jones. The Liberty weren’t the only team Ionescu joined on Friday, as it was announced that she signed a sneaker deal with Nike.