WNBA star Sabrina Ionescu is back in full swing and looking to fly under new Liberty coach

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Freedom of New York Guard Sabrina Ionescu opened the season on Saturday night, scoring 25 points and leading her team to an 81-79 victory over the Connecticut Suns. Feeling completely recovered from a long ankle injury and with a new coach on the bench, Ionescu is just getting started.

“I’ve been training tirelessly, honestly, since the season ended last year,” Ionescu told Fox News Digital in an interview this week. “So it’s been a long offseason of just lifting weights, rehab on the basketball court, yoga, continuing to recover and looking for ways to keep improving.”

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The former Oregon standout was the overall # 1 pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft after becoming the NCAA all-time leader in career triple-doubles. But after suffering a serious ankle injury towards the end of his rookie season, Ionescu would miss the rest of the year.

Sabrina Ionescu of the New York Liberty drives against the Connecticut Sun on May 7, 2022, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
(Steven Freeman / NBAE via Getty Images)

Her injury would continue to haunt her throughout the 2021 season, but Ionescu told Fox News Digital that she feels like she’s finally playing at full capacity again.

“Yes, I know,” he said. “For sure it was a longer injury than I thought it would be at two years, but I am finally back to feeling healthy, being able to play at the level I want to play.

“I’m really excited about where my health is, and I’m just excited to keep improving and learning from this season.”

Ionescu is also hoping to reach new heights under the direction of new manager Sandy Brondello.

“She was fantastic, she just learned from her experiences and she was also a player, so she was able to learn from her experience as a player but also as a manager – she just comes with a lot of experience and experience at the highest level and wins and be in a championship team and lead them. ”

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New York Liberty head coach Sandy Brondello speaks to her team during the Connecticut Sun game on May 7, 2022, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

New York Liberty head coach Sandy Brondello speaks to her team during the Connecticut Sun game on May 7, 2022, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
(Steven Freeman / NBAE via Getty Images))

Brondello, 53, was a WNBA All-Star, a two-time WNBL All-Star in her native Australia and a three-time Olympic medalist. She coached Phoenix Mercury at a WNBA championship in her first year as head coach (2014) and remained with the organization until December. In January it was announced that she would take up the position in New York.

“It was a whole new environment and culture around this new era of having a new coaching staff and some sort of new identity as a team, so it was really exciting and I’m just eager and excited to learn from her,” added Ionescu. .

New York split from Walt Hopkins last season after a disappointing first-round exit in the WNBA playoffs, which followed a 2-20 season.

“We know what we achieved last year and we know that it is not enough and we want to continue to grow and improve as an organization and as a team and therefore with those expectations we place on ourselves of wanting to be the best ever and wanting to be successful, we are just excited to see how to play match after match, keep improving and see where it leads, “Ionescu said.

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While remaining focused on future challenges, the young star is expanding her goals off the pitch as well. She recently launched an NFT campaign with Tom Brady’s “Autograph” platform that illustrates her experiences in college and the WNBA and her personal background.

New York Liberty's Sabrina Ionescu celebrates after the game against the Connecticut Sun on May 7, 2022 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

New York Liberty’s Sabrina Ionescu celebrates after the game against the Connecticut Sun on May 7, 2022 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
(Steven Freeman / NBAE via Getty Images)

“I think I was really excited about the opportunity to collaborate and get involved in the world of cryptocurrencies just because as a younger athlete and female athlete I don’t think there is enough representation. I know that Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles are also partners and involved, so I was really excited to keep expanding that part of my offscreen [life] and continue to learn and grow “.