Ionescu Wins USBWA National Player of the Year


EUGENE, Ore. – Sabrina Ionescu continued her dominance of the national end-of-season awards on Wednesday as she was named national player of the year by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).

Ionescu is the first Duck ever to win USBWA national player of the year, which is officially dubbed the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award.

“Sabrina Ionescu is one of the most well-rounded players on both ends of the floor. Her leadership on and off the court stands out, and her ability to make everyone around her better sets her apart,” said the award’s namesake, Ann Meyers Drysdale, in the USBWA release. “She has grown and developed her game every year, and I am disappointed that she was not able to finish out her senior year and give her Oregon Ducks a chance to win a national title. I am very proud to have Sabrina receive the 2020 Ann Meyers Drysdale USBWA Player of the Year Award.”

Also on Wednesday, Ionescu was selected as a regional finalist for 2020 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division I coaches’ all-America along with teammates Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally. The 10-player WBCA all-America team will be announced on Thursday, April 2.

This is the third national player of the year honor for Ionescu, who on Monday was unanimously selected as the Associated Press national player of the year. Ionescu has also been named the national player of the year.
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An Associated Press and USBWA first-team all-America selection for the third year in a row, Ionescu put together a stellar senior season en route to winning a third straight Pac-12 player of the year honor. Ionescu is also a finalist for the Naismith Trophy and is a frontrunner for remaining national player of the year awards such as the Wooden Award and the Wade Trophy, both of which she won last year as a junior.

Ionescu carved out her own place in history as a senior, becoming the first NCAA player ever to reach 2,000 career points (2,562), 1,000 assists (1,091) and 1,000 rebounds (1,040). The Walnut Creek, Calif., native capped her career with an NCAA all-time record 26 triple-doubles after matching her own single-season record with eight in 2019-20, and she finished the year averaging 17.5 points, a career-high 8.6 rebounds and an NCAA-leading 9.1 assists per game.

Ionescu was breaking records all season long, becoming the Oregon all-time leader in points, three-pointers (329) and double-figure scoring games (134) while breaking the Pac-12 men’s and women’s all-time record for assists. Ionescu closes her career at No. 4 on the NCAA women’s basketball all-time assists list, and she is only the second player in history with 2,000 points and 1,000 assists (Courtney Vandersloot).

Despite an abrupt end to the season after the NCAA Tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19, Ionescu ended the year on a high note. The senior was named the most outstanding player of the Pac-12 Tournament for the second time in her career after dominating with 23.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 9.0 assists per game while leading the Ducks to the title. Oregon swept the Pac-12 regular-season and tournament titles for the second time in the last three years behind Ionescu’s stellar play and leadership.