Playing at Barclay's for the first time in her professional career will be a completely new experience for New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu. Arguably, so will be playing in the WNBA in general. After two full games in the bubble last summer, the former Oregon Duck was ruled out for the year during the third contest after suffering a severe ankle sprain. This was coming off a commanding performance in the second game where she registered 33 points on 11-of-20 shooting, six field goals, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Fully healed and ready to headline the monumental 25th season against the Indiana Fever on May 14, Ionescu explained to Yahoo Sports why her sophomore campaign will closely mirror her rookie year.
"I don’t view myself as a sophomore player this season, more like an experienced rookie," Ionescu said. "Because I played a couple games last season, the nerves of playing in the league are gone. But, I know there's still a lot to learn. So, I'm viewing this as my first year playing while also navigating through the changes of playing at Barclays compared to the bubble. The goal is to just stay healthy."
There's never been a time Ionescu couldn't do 'One More'
Thanks to BODYARMOR, Ionescu will be at least hydrated enough to play through each game. She along with other pro athletes star in the sports drink's latest campaign. Aptly titled "One More," the initiative shines a light on the passion that propels professional athletes to strive for more. Joining Ionescu in the commercial are James Harden, Naomi Osaka, Mookie Betts, Baker Mayfield and more.
"It means everything to be a part of this campaign," the No. 1 overall pick of the 2020 WNBA draft said. "After being around so many male athletes and seeing what they received for their accomplishments to sports, it's great to see women finally have that representation. I'm not comparing, but definitely taking note of which brands also spotlight women athletes. At BODYARMOR, I never had to ask or demand for them to treat me equally, that's what they stand for as a company."
Regardless of whether you're a professional or recreational jock, there's a heightened level of excitement about doing what you love to do. Ionescu believes everyone has the hunger and desire within, which is why she prides herself on always performing at her best, especially during the final weeks leading up to her "sophomore" season.
"Those first game jitters are officially out of the way. I'm ready to bring New York a championship."
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