NEW YORK (CBS SF/AP) — Walnut Creek native Sabrina Ionescu was chosen as the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft Friday night, going to the New York Liberty.
The former Miramonte High School (Orinda) and Oregon Ducks star, who set the NCAA record for triple-doubles, was the first college player to have over 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists in her career.READ MORE: Bay Area COVID-19 Roundup: Vaccinations By Zip Code: East Bay Entrepreneurs Eager for Red Tier Easing; Goodwill To Close 8 Local Retail Stores
Ducks teammate Satou Sabally, one of three juniors to forego their last year of college eligibility and enter the draft, went second to Dallas. It’s the third time in the history of the draft that the top two picks were from the same program.
Ionescu had been projected as the Liberty’s choice since the team won the draft lottery.
“I’ve talked to their coach a little bit, and he’s been awesome,” Ionescu said during a Zoom call earlier this week. “Obviously, they have a new staff in place. I’m just excited if I get that opportunity. I think they have the right pieces in place, and the goals and the vision that coaching staff and the front office has for that team are bright.”READ MORE: Bay Area College Students Speak Out About Experiencing Anti-Asian Racism
The WNBA was holding a virtual draft Friday because of the coronavirus pandemic. The NFL is following suit and having its draft vrtually next weekend.
Of course, a virtual draft has a few different quirks.
Draft prospects are in their own homes instead of a central location and the WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert will be announcing selections from her home. The WNBA sent a care package to many of the top picks with hats of all 12 teams, a WNBA sweatshirt, confetti and a few other items.
Coaches and general managers are spread through the country — with Chicago coach — in France, so they are setting up virtual war rooms instead of gathering in their own team facilities.MORE NEWS: Health Officials Targeting 10 Bay Area Zip Codes To Get COVID-19 Vaccinations To Hardest Hit
The Liberty and Wings basically control the draft with half of the 12 first-round picks between them after a series of trades over the last year. New York has the No 1, 9 and 12 picks; Dallas the No. 2, 5 and 7 picks.