Sat, 11 Jul 2020

Oregon's Ionescu 1st to 2K-1K-1K, hours after Kobe memorial

Field Level Media
25 Feb 2020, 16:05 GMT+10

Oregon point guard Sabrina Ionescu made history on Monday by becoming the first player in Division I basketball history, male or female, to collect at least 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists.

Hours after speaking at the memorial for her mentor, late Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, Ionescu totaled 21 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists in the No. 3 Ducks' 74-66 win at No. 4 Stanford. Her ninth rebound, which came late in the third quarter, gave her 1,000 in her career, making her the inaugural member of the 2K-1K-1K club.

Ionescu said afterward on the ESPN broadcast that it was especially meaningful to accomplish the feat on this particular day because of Bryant, who had mentored Ionescu over the last year.

"I mean that one was for him," said Ionescu, who took a chartered flight from Los Angeles after Bryant's memorial to arrive about 90 minutes before tipoff at Maples Pavilion. "To do it on 2/24/20 is huge. We had talked about it in the preseason. I can't really put that into words. He's looking down and really proud of me, and just really happy for my team."

Ionescu's triple-double was her eighth of the season and the 26th of her career. She managed it despite an emotion-filled day and while battling illness, as she skipped pregame warmups after feeling nauseous.

"Being able to speak (at the memorial) was such an honor for me," Ionescu said. "Being able to hear everyone speak. I tried to do everything I could to hold it together tonight, and my team helped me a lot doing that."

Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, were memorialized at Staples Center earlier Monday. They were among nine killed in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles on Jan. 26.

In her speech, Ionescu told the story of meeting Kobe and Gianna Bryant last year, when they sat courtside as the Ducks played USC in Los Angeles. She described her interactions with both in the months since, including on-court moves that Kobe Bryant helped teach her.

Ionescu has 2,467 points, 1,041 assists and 1.003 rebounds in 137 games during her Oregon career. She is averaging 17.3 points, 8.9 assists and 8.8 rebounds in 28 games this season.

--Field Level Media

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