Ionescu is the fifth women’s basketball player to receive the Sullivan Award
Following a historic season, Oregon women’s basketball sensation Sabrina Ionescu was named co-winner of the James E. Sullivan Award on Wednesday night alongside Iowa wrestler Spencer Lee. Ionescu became the first Oregon student-athlete ever to win the award, given to the nation’s most outstanding amateur athletes every year since 1930.
“This is truly an honor,” Ionescu said after being announced as a co-winner. “I’m blessed to be in this position and blessed to be among such great athletes and people, and to follow in the footsteps of the past AAU Sullivan Award winners.
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The Oregon star follows in the footsteps of Chamique Holdsclaw, Coco and Kelly Miller and Breanna Stewart to become the fifth women’s basketball player in history to receive the Sullivan Award. She is also the fourth to be named a co-winner — twin sisters and University of Georgia teammates Coco Miller and Kelly Miller shared the award in 1999, and UConn’s Breanna Stewart was a co-winner in 2015 alongside Navy football star Keenan Reynolds.
This season, Ionescu rightfully took home all the accolades in college basketball. She averaged 17.5 points, a career-high 8.6 rebounds and an NCAA-leading 9.1 assists per game while leading the Ducks to their second Pac-12 Championship win in four years. She swept every national player of the year award and was also named a unanimous first-team all-American, the Nancy Lieberman national point guard of the year and the Pac-12 player of the year, receiving all three honors for the third year in a row.
She also became the first player in NCAA history to record 2,000 career points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists, and tied her own NCAA single-season record with eight triple-doubles in 2019-20 to give her 26 for her career, 14 more than any other player in collegiate history.
She ends her stellar Oregon career as the Pac-12 all-time assists leader for both men and women with 1,091, which ranks fourth in NCAA women’s basketball history. Ionescu is also Oregon’s all-time leader in points (2,562), three-point field goals (329) and double-figure scoring games (134), and she is in the top five all-time in six more categories.
Earlier this month, Ionescu was selected No. 1 overall by the New York Liberty in the 2020 WNBA Draft, becoming just the third Oregon student-athlete to be taken first overall in a professional draft.
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