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#pounditTuesday, March 2, 2021

Sabrina Ionescu makes NCAA history hours after speaking at Kobe Bryant memorial

Sabrina Ionescu

Sabrina Ionescu had a pretty incredible day on Monday.

The Oregon Ducks senior was one of a handful of few people who had the honor of speaking at the memorial for Kobe and Gianna Bryant at Staples Center in Los Angeles. She delivered a moving speech and talked about her relationship with the Bryants, and about how she wanted herself and others to follow Kobe’s lead in pushing forward women’s basketball.

Later that evening, Ionescu was in Palo Alto for her No. 3 Ducks’ huge game against the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal.

Ionescu entered the game nine rebounds shy of 1,000 for her college career. She achieved that mark in the third quarter, which made her the first Division 1 player (men’s or women’s) to amass 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 career assists.

Ionescu is also the second player with 2,000 points and 1,000 assists in a career.

Ionescu finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists in Oregon’s 74-66 win over Stanford.

“Being able to speak was such an honor for me,” Ionescu said in a postgame interview with ESPN. “[Reaching the milestone] was for [Kobe]. 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.”

Here was her touching speech at the memorial earlier in the day:


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