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Sabrina Ionescu and Breanna Stewart: Ducks Would’ve Won

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 09: Breanna Stewart #30 of the Seattle Storm is greeted by fans as she runs back to the locker room after beating the Washington Mystics in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals at KeyArena on September 9, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle Storm beat the Washington Mystics 75-73. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

On an Instagram Live chat with Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart, New York Liberty’s Sabrina Ionescu discussed her life since becoming the WNBA’s No. 1 draft pick on April 17. For the former Oregon guard, it was a dream come true.

“People had been talking about it the entire year I was playing [at Oregon] – that I could potentially be in New York,” Ionescu said. “It’s still different than hearing your name being called and finally being on the team and able to talk to them like you are on the roster.”

During the conversation, the two athletes discussed a variety of topics including their shared experience of being a No. 1 draft pick, how they are staying in shape during the COVID-19 crisis, their hopes for the 2020 WNBA season and their thoughts on what team would have won the NCAA women’s tournament if it had not been canceled – both women picked Ionescu’s Oregon Ducks.


In 2016, Stewart was drafted No. 1 by the Seattle Storm and is currently entering into her fifth year with the team. Ionescu, meanwhile, has yet to meet her new coaches and teammates with the Liberty due to the coronavirus crisis.

Ionescu, currently at home in Walnut Creek, California, was practicing at her middle school gym when she was notified of a letter Stewart had written to her before the WNBA draft.

“I was honored to be able to see that letter,” Ionescu told Stewart. “It was awesome to get insight on your thought process and how I should be dealing with stuff.”

As for advice for Ionescu and other WNBA rookies, Stewart shared, “The biggest piece of advice I could give you is to really enjoy it. I know times are different than they were when I came into the league, because of COVID-19. But try to embrace everything.

“Once the league does happen and we get back into it, it’s going to be like a whirlwind. That’s what I remember of my rookie season – everything went so, so fast. Now I look up and I’m going into my fifth year. Just continue to enjoy it and work hard.”