Ionescu Named Wade Trophy Finalist


EUGENE, Ore. – Reigning Wade Trophy winner Sabrina Ionescu has once again been named a finalist for the prestigious national player of the year award, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced on Thursday morning.

Ionescu is one of four finalists for the honor along with Dana Evans (Louisville), Tyasha Harris (South Carolina) and Aari McDonald (Arizona). The WBCA will announce the winner of the 2020 Wade Trophy on April 2.

Ionescu is looking to join Nancy Lieberman (1979, 1980), Seimone Augustus (2005, 2006), Brittney Griner (2012, 2013), and Breanna Stewart (2015, 2016) as a two-time winner of the Wade Trophy. Maya Moore (2009, 2010, 2011) is the award’s only three-time recipient.

Already the Associated Press, USBWA and national player of the year after a stellar senior season – which unfortunately ended abruptly due to COVID-19 – Ionescu was named a finalist for WBCA all-America honors on Wednesday along with teammates Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally. Ionescu has already earned first-team all-America status from the AP and the USBWA – both for the third year in a row – and she won her third straight Pac-12 player of the year award while completing a four-year sweep of all-Pac-12 honors.
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Ionescu is also a finalist for the Naismith Trophy and is a frontrunner for the Wooden Award, which she took home last year along with the Wade Trophy. Additionally, Ionescu is a finalist for prestigious awards such as the AAU James E. Sullivan Award and the Senior CLASS Award, as well as the Nancy Lieberman Award for the nation’s top point guard.

The Wade Trophy — now in its 43nd year — is the oldest and most prestigious national player of the year award in college women’s basketball. It is named in honor of the late, legendary Delta State University head coach Lily Margaret Wade, who won three consecutive national championships with the Lady Statesmen. First awarded in 1978 by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), now known as SHAPE America, the The Wade Trophy has been presented to the WBCA NCAA Division I National Player of the Year since 2001.

SABRINA IONESCU – Senior Season at a Glance
Ionescu capped one of the greatest careers of all-time with arguably her best season as a senior. The three-time Pac-12 player of the year matched her own NCAA single-season record with eight triple-doubles to extend her all-time record for both women and men to 26, and she became the first player in NCAA history to reach 2,000 career points (2,562), 1,000 assists (1,091) and 1,000 rebounds (1,040). The Walnut Creek, Calif., native led the nation with a career-high 9.1 assists per game as a senior while averaging 17.5 points and a career-high 8.6 rebounds per game, and she was fourth nationally with a 3.05 assist-to-turnover ratio. Ionescu closed her historic career by being named the Pac-12 Tournament most outstanding player for the second time after averaging 23.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 9.0 assists per game in three contests, headlined by a 31-point performance in the semifinals vs. No. 13 Arizona. Ionescu scored in double figures 32 times in 33 games while posting 10 games of 20 points or more and two of 30 points or more, highlighted by a career-high 37-point performance against No. 3 Stanford on Jan. 16. The senior superstar posted a career-best 51.8 field-goal percentage while leading the Pac-12 in free-throw percentage (92.1), and she broke the UO record for consecutive free throws made with 34. Ionescu finished with a career-high 20 double-doubles to tie for fourth-most in the nation, including 14 in the final 20 games of the season. Ionescu closes her storied career at No. 4 on the NCAA women’s basketball all-time assists list, and she is the Oregon all-time leader in points, assists, three-point field goals (329) and double-figure scoring games (134).