Steven Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images
Sabrina Ionescu is in only her third season with the New York Liberty, and she is already carving her name into the history books.
During the first quarter of the Liberty’s game against the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday, Ionescu became the first player in WNBA history to record more than 500 points, 200 rebounds and 200 assists in a single season.
The help that MADE history 📚 pic.twitter.com/h5HAg4HACc
This is just the latest milestone in what is sure to be a legendary career for Ionescu.
The 24-year-old made a bit of history just six days ago in the Liberty’s 89-69 win over the Phoenix Mercury by becoming the fourth player in WNBA history record at least 16 assists in a game, joining Courtney Vandersloot, Sue Bird and Ticha Penicheiro.
Besides, she recorded the third triple double of her career in a July 7 win over the Las Vegas Aces with 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, tying her with Candace Parker for the most in a WNBA career.
Ionescu also became the first WNBA player in history to record a 30-point triple in that game.
The Liberty selected Ionescu first overall in the 2020 WNBA draft out of Oregon. She appeared in just three games during her rookie season before suffering a Grade 3 left ankle sprain and being ruled out for the rest of the year.
Ionescu returned in 2021 and averaged 11.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists in 30 games while shooting 37.9 percent from the floor and 32.5 percent from deep. It was a difficult season for the California native, who continued to suffer from the ankle injury that plagued her as a rookie.
She admitted to reporters during Liberty training camp in April that she shouldn’t have played last season while still nursing the injury:
“Don’t play if you’re not healthy. That’s probably the main thing I’ve learned is that it’s a long game and it was my second year and thank God I didn’t get hurt more or get another injury, but sometimes playing it through is not always the right way.”
Now that Ionescu is fully recovered from her ankle ailment, she is reaping the benefits. Entering Saturday, she averaged 17.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.4 assists through 31 games while shooting 41.6 percent from the floor and 34.9 percent from deep.
However, despite Ionescu’s best efforts, Liberty entered Saturday fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 13-18 record. That said, the team is still on pace to grab a playoff spot.