By Madisen Carter
This past weekend, New York Liberty’s Sabrina Ionescu started in her first All-Star Game at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. After missing nearly her entire rookie season and leading her team to the WNBA Playoffs in her second season, Ionescu has continued to put in countless hours of work to continue to excel in her basketball career and receive her first All-Star selection.
The All-Star Weekend was eventful for Ionescu. Not only did she participate in the All-Star game, but she also was a participant in the Skills Challenge. On Saturday, Ionescu became the first player in the New York Liberty franchise to win the WNBA All-Star Skills Challenge. On Sunday, Ionescu and Team Wilson defeated Team Stewart 134-112, and Ionescu finished the game with a total of 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Coach Packie Turner was able to travel to Chicago to see Ionescu in her All-Star Weekend debut. He said she had an amazing showing for a first-time All-Star.
“Sabrina is in her third year in the WNBA but it’s her first full season healthy, and she is proving she is one of the best players in the [WNBA. It] was amazing to get to see all the hours and hard work come to fruition for this moment,” Packie said. “She has earned this, and it was special to be able to be there in person for her first All-Star game”
So far in the 2022 WNBA season, Ionescu is already having her best season yet while averaging 17.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 6.3 assists. In the 22 games played leading up to the All-Star Weekend, Ionescu has totaled 383 points, 167 rebounds, and 139 assists.
On July 6th, Ionescu added another triple-double under her belt when she finished against the Las Vegas Aces with a total of 31 points and reached a career-high in three pointers with seven. This was the first 30-point triple-double in WNBA history. The triple-double queen has a total of three triple-doubles in her career with the New York Liberty and now has two this season.
With 12 regular season games left this year, Ionescu and the Liberty are looking to make a return to the WNBA Playoffs. As of now, the Liberty are 5th in the Eastern Conference, and they need to be one of the eight teams with the best records in the league to make it to the postseason. The Liberty and Ionescu will travel to Mohegan Sun Arena on Tuesday to face the Connecticut Sun, the fourth overall best team in the league.