Ionescu nabs USBWA top honor; Eight named WBCA All-America Finalists
SAN FRANCISCO - OREGON’s Sabrina Ionescu nabs another national player of the year honor, this time earning the nod from the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), becoming the first-ever Duck to win the Ann Meyers Drysdale Player of the Year, the organization announced today. In addition to the national player of the year award, Ionescu is one of eight Pac-12 student-athletes named WBCA All-America finalists, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today.
Oregon’s Ionescu (Walnut Creek, Calif.) is the fifth player from the Pac-12 to receive the USBWA honor that is named after the former UCLA great, who was the first woman to be named All-America four years in a row. Ionescu is also the second from the Pac-12 in four years to earn the player of the year honor. She has already been named the national player of the year by ESPN.com and the Associated Press.
Ionescu’s history-making career included becoming the first player in NCAA history, men’s or women’s, with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists. Ionescu matched her NCAA single-season record with eight triple-doubles to extend her all-time record for both women and men to 26, more than double the next player (BYU’s Kyle Collinsworth, 12).
Averaging 17.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and a nation-leading 9.1 assists per game this season, Ionescu is a three-time USBWA All-American and three-time Pac-12 Player of the Year, garnering All-Pac-12 honors every year, one of only 17 players in league history to earn the all-league status four times. She led the Ducks to a 31-2 record and a Pac-12 regular-season and tournament crown as the Ducks were projected to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Ionescu was also named a finalist for the prestigious James E. Sullivan Award, presented to the nation’s most outstanding amateur athlete.
Eight Pac-12 student-athletes made up the WBCA All-Region 5 team. The WBCA Selection Committee will select the 10-player All-America Team from the 52 regionals finalists, to be announced April 2. Oregon placed three on the Region 5 team, including Ionescu, senior Ruthy Hebard (Fairbanks, Alaska) and junior Satou Sabally (Berlin, Germany). The trio was named to the USBWA All-America team earlier this week.
OREGON STATE also had a pair of honorees on the all-region squad, with senior Mikayla Pivec (Lynnwood, Wash.) and junior Destiny Slocum (Meridian, Idaho) earning spots. Named USBWA All-Americans earlier this week, ARIZONA junior Aari McDonald (Fresno, Calif.) and UCLA junior Michaela Onyenwere (Aurora, Calif.) were named finalists. STANFORD was represented by junior Kiana Williams (San Antonio, Texas).