(KPIX/AP) — Sabrina Ionescu capped off a unprecedented college career by entering an exclusive club.
The Oregon and Miramonte High School star guard was a unanimous choice Monday as The Associated Press women’s basketball player of the year, receiving all 30 votes from the national media panel that selects the Top 25 each week during the season. Since the award was first given in 1995, the only other player to receive all the votes is former UConn star Breanna Stewart.
“That’s pretty crazy. Someone I look up to and have a good relationship with,” Ionescu told the AP. “To be in that class with her is an honor.”
Ionescu, who was only the eighth player to earn AP All-American honors three times, shattered the NCAA career triple-double mark and became the first player in college history to have 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists. She accomplished the feat last month at Stanford, which was her final game in the Bay Area.
“Sabrina is a transcendent basketball player,” Oregon head coach Kelly Graves said. “There’s really nothing that she couldn’t do on the court. She was the ultimate leader.”
Ionescu came back for her senior season, saying she had unfinished business and hopes of winning a NCAA title. She averaged 17.5 points, 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds this season as well as having eight of her 26 career triple-doubles.
She helped the Ducks win the Pac-12 regular season and tournament titles. The native of Walnut Creek, California, was honored as the conference’s most outstanding player of the tournament and regular season.
Ionescu guided Oregon to a 31-2 mark this past season, which ended prematurely with the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I have enjoyed everything that I did this year,” said Ionescu during the Pac-12 Tournament. “I never second-guess my choice.”
Ionescu might have been the most recognizable college player this year in either the men’s or women’s game. Her jerseys sold out in hours at stores.
“Sabrina is a basketball player, period. She was this year’s Zion and a household name,” AP voter Deb Antonelli said. “Fans and ball players respect her game because she works hard and produces when the brightest lights are shining on her. She delivered stats in the game no other four year player has ever accomplished man or woman.”
Before the fame on the national level, Ionescu dominated the prep circuit in the Bay Area. She was named the Gatorade Player of the Year her senior season at Miramonte, but fell a game short of winning the state championship.
Ionescu was recruited by universities across the country, including Cal, but Ionescu elected to leave the area and committed to Oregon.