One of the best players in the WNBA has high praise for New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu.
Phoenix Mercury veteran Diana Taurasi, called Ionescu “the ultimate competitor” while speaking with reporters at USA Basketball’s fall training camp. Both Taurasi, 41, and Ionescu, 25, are participating in the camp and exhibition games this month as the team prepares for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
“There’s not many players that I love to watch. Sabrina is one of them,” Taurasi said. “I just love her competitiveness. I love her dedication. I love the way she takes the game serious on and of the court.”
Ionescu keeps “the main thing, the main thing” — as in, basketball is front and center, Taurasi said. While Ionescu’s high profile — from her signature shoe to other big sponsorship deals — could be distracting, the New York Liberty guard doesn’t allow that to derail her.
“It’s one thing that I really appreciate about her,” Taurasi said of Ionescu, who helped lead the Liberty to the WNBA Finals in 2023.
Taurasi also recounted a story from 2019, when Team USA “got lit up” by Oregon in an exhibition game back when Ionescu still played for the Ducks.
“How she played against Tennessee is why she’s gonna be on this team for a long, long time,” she said. “She’s the ultimate competitor and the ultimate teammate, always looking to distribute, always looking to make the next connection.
“And I think that’s the beauty of her game and any day she can give you 30, but the way she sees the game and how quickly she makes decisions, it’s second to none.”
Ionescu responded to Taurasi’s comments. “My idol,” she wrote in reference to Taurasi.
My idol 🙏🏼 https://t.co/NRmBkfeUJL— Sabrina Ionescu (@sabrina_i20) November 8, 2023
My idol 🙏🏼 https://t.co/NRmBkfeUJL