Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu Unanimously Voted AP Women's Player of the Year

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2020

Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu (20) reacts after her team scored against Stanford during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the final of the Pac-12 women's tournament Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu was named the Associated Press women's basketball player of the year Monday.

The Ducks guard became just the second unanimous winner of the award, joining former UConn Huskies star Breanna Stewart.

"That's pretty crazy. Someone I look up to and have a good relationship with," Ionescu said of joining Stewart as unanimous selections. "To be in that class with her is an honor."

Ionescu, a three-time All-American, averaged 17.5 points, 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds this season with eight triple-doubles. She returned for her senior season to try to lead Oregon to a national title, though those hopes were dashed when the NCAA women's and men's basketball tournaments were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I have enjoyed everything that I did this year," she said during the Pac-12 tournament, per the AP. "I never second-guess my choice."

She will go down in history as a transcendent star of the college game, setting the NCAA record for career triple-doubles (26) and becoming the first women's or men's player with over 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists in a career.

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She's also earned the attention of some of the greats of the game, including Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry, who called her a "legend in her own right."

"I love having a relationship with [Curry], just being able to remember when I was little, watching him and kind of emulating my game after him, to now being able to call him or text him any time that I need help with something," Ionescu told ESPN's Maria Taylor in March.

Ionescu will have a chance to build a legacy in the WNBA similar to the one Curry has crafted with the Warriors. Her place in the history of college basketball is already firmly secured.