Liberty’s Sabrina Ionescu completes Kobe Bryant tribute with game-winning 3 POINTER FOR THE WNBA TEAMS VICTORY

Liberty’s Sabrina Ionescu completes Kobe Bryant tribute with game-winning 3 POINTER FOR THE WNBA TEAMS VICTORY
a woman on a court
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It’s not the first time Ionescu has honored the Lakers legend, and we doubt it will be the last.

Ionescu pays tribute to Kobe Bryant

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The former Oregon star concluded her collegiate career with the Ducks with a powerful message to her teammates at Matthew Knight Arena, thanking them for not letting her light get overshadowed by darkness in the wake of Bryant’s death.

A few weeks earlier, at the request of Vanessa Bryant, Ionescu delivered a well-spoken, emotional tribute to Kobe and his daughter Gianna at their celebration of life.

Vanessa Bryant could have chosen any number of basketball legends to speak at the memorial. The fact that Ionescu was one of the few chosen to pay tribute to Kobe and GiGi speaks volumes of her relationship with Kobe and is a testament to his support for women’s basketball as a whole.

Ionescu remains close with the Bryant family and embodies the Mamba Mentality. She borrowed a move from Kobe’s playbook tonight, hitting a deep three at the buzzer to lift the Liberty over the Indiana Fever.

It’s the first win of the WNBA’s 25th season and the first as a pro for Ionescu after missing all but three games of her rookie season with an ankle injury.

Kobe Bryant

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Kobe Bryant
Bryant handling the basketball
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Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2014
Personal information
Born August 23, 1978
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died January 26, 2020 (aged 41)
Calabasas, California
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)[a]
Listed weight 212 lb (96 kg)
Career information
High school Lower Merion
(Ardmore, Pennsylvania)
NBA draft 1996 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13th overall
Selected by the Charlotte Hornets
Playing career 1996–2016
Position Shooting guard
Number 8, 24
Career history
19962016 Los Angeles Lakers
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points 33,643 (25.0 ppg)
Rebounds 7,047 (5.2 rpg)
Assists 6,306 (4.7 apg)
Stats 
Edit this at Wikidata
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at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Medals
Men’s basketball
Representing
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United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place
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2008 Beijing Team
Gold medal – first place
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2012 London Team
FIBA Americas Championship
Gold medal – first place
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2007 Las Vegas Team

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Kobe Bean Bryant (/ˈkb/ KOH-bee; August 23, 1978 – January 26, 2020) was an American professional basketball player. A shooting guard, he spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time,[3][4][5][6] Bryant won five NBA championships, was an 18-time All-Star, a 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, a 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team, the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), and a two-time NBA Finals MVP. Bryant also led the NBA in scoring twice, and ranks fourth in league all-time regular season and postseason scoring.

Born in Philadelphia and partly raised in Italy, Bryant was recognized as the top American high-school basketball player while at Lower Merion. The son of former NBA player Joe Bryant, he declared for the 1996 NBA draft and was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick; he was then traded to the Lakers. As a rookie, Bryant earned a reputation as a high-flyer by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest, and was named an All-Star by his second season. Despite a feud with teammate Shaquille O’Neal, the pair led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. In 2003, Bryant was charged with sexual assault;[7] criminal charges were dropped after the accuser refused to testify, and a civil suit was settled out of court, with Bryant issuing a public apology and admitting to a consensual sexual encounter.

After the Lakers lost the 2004 NBA Finals, O’Neal was traded and Bryant became the cornerstone of the Lakers. He led the NBA in scoring in the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons. In 2006, he scored a career-high 81 points; the second most points scored in a single game in league history, behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in 1962. Bryant led the team to consecutive championships in 2009 and 2010, both times being named NBA Finals MVP. He continued to be among the top players in the league through the 2012-13 season, when he suffered a torn achilles tendon at age 34. Season-ending knee and shoulder injuries followed in the next two seasons. Citing physical decline, Bryant retired after the 2015–16 NBA season.

The all-time leading scorer in Lakers history, Bryant was the first guard in NBA history to play 20 seasons. His 18 All-Star designations are the second most all time, while it is the record for most consecutive appearances as a starter. Bryant’s four NBA All-Star Game MVP Awards are tied with Bob Pettit for the most in NBA history. He gave himself the nickname “Black Mamba” in the mid-2000s, and the epithet became widely adopted by the general public. At the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, he won two gold medals as a member of the U.S. national team. In 2018, he won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for the film Dear Basketball (2017).[8]

Bryant died, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.[9] A number of tributes and memorials were subsequently issued, including renaming the All-Star MVP Award in his honor.

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Sabrina Ionescu

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Sabrina Ionescu
Sabrina Ionescu 2019 Pac 12 Tourney 2019-03-08 (cropped).jpg
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Sabrina Ionescu at the 2019 Pac-12 Tournament
No. 20 – New York Liberty
Position Point guard
League WNBA
Personal information
Born December 6, 1997 (age 23)
Walnut Creek, California
Nationality American
Listed height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Listed weight 165 lb (75 kg)
Career information
High school Miramonte
(Orinda, California)
College Oregon (2016–2020)
WNBA draft 2020 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the New York Liberty
Playing career 2020–present
Career history
2020–present New York Liberty
Career highlights and awards
Stats at WNBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Medals
Representing
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United States
Women’s basketball
FIBA Americas U-16 Championship
Gold medal – first place
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2013 Mexico National team
FIBA U-17 World Cup
Gold medal – first place
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2014 Czech Republic National team
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place
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2019 Lima National 3×3 team

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Sabrina Elaine Ionescu (born December 6, 1997) is an American professional basketball player for the New York Liberty of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She played college basketball for the Oregon DucksShe is the NCAA all-time leader in career triple-doubles, the Pac-12 Conference all-time leader in assists, and the only NCAA Division I basketball player to record 2,000 points, 1,000 assists, and 1,000 rebounds in a career.

2019-20 Women’s Basketball Roster

 

Ionescu, Sabrina
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20 Sabrina Ionescu
  • Position
    Guard
  • Height
    5-11
  • Class
    Senior
  • High School
    Miramonte HS
  • Hometown
    Walnut Creek, Calif.

 

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