It was May 14th and the season opener for the Indiana Fever and New York Liberty.
In the first half, the teams essentially traded quarters. The Fever scored 21 points in the first then 26 in the second. The Liberty had 26 in the first then 21 in the second. The teams just flip-flopped the amount of points for those quarters and this game was all tied up.
That’d be fitting as the game would go down to the wire.
And with it being the first regular season game, you may not know who to give the ball to down the stretch if you still need to figure out your team and how they respond to crucial game situations throughout at least a few games into a season.
Not this time. Because the Liberty just so happen to have Sabrina Ionescu. So, yeah, when the game’s on the line, just pass it to the guard who was the “(f)irst player (female or male) in NCAA history with 2,000 career points (2,562), 1,000 career rebounds (1,040) and 1,000 career assists (1,091)” per the Oregon Ducks.
Ionescu knows a thing or two about scoring so good call on the Liberty to take the liberty in getting the ball in her hands.
Score’s tied at 87 with just over :5 seconds left on the clock. Ionescu takes the ball out, throws it in to Kylie Shook. Shook gives it back to Ionescu, Shook sets a screen, Ionescu sinks the three-pointer.
The Liberty hold on to win their first game of the season, 90-87.
On top of that game winner, as the WNBA listed, she had a total of 25 points, 11 assists, and six boards.
True to the Nike shoes she uses which were designed for ‘space makers’ on the court, Sabrina utilized the space she had and made the game-winning shot.
A Nike “team met with…Ionescu to gather insights about what she’d like to see in an on-court shoe” according to Nike.
Sabrina said, “I’m (giving up) speed for comfort, and there’s nothing out there for me” per Nike.
“Sabrina’s insights gave us a sharp objective to problem solve around that will push our footwear to new & unexpected levels,” Bryant Klug, Nike basketball designer, said per Nike.
Sabrina’s already helped push the Liberty to a 2-0 record. And it’s still early but you never know, the team could get to that next level if they make the playoffs for the first time since 2017 or even the WNBA Finals for the first time since 2002 (per the Liberty).
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
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