Ionescu joins Graves’ Staff as Director of Athletic Culture

EUGENE, Arch. — Oregon legend Sabrina Ionescu becomes head women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves‘ Support staff in a part-time role as director of sports culture, the ninth-year head coach announced on Friday.

In her role, Ionescu will help develop student athletes and cultivate Graves’ five pillars of Oregon women’s basketball: passion, integrity, unity, gratitude and servanthood. In addition, she will be a resource and example for current, former and future Ducks.

“I couldn’t think of a better person for this position than Sabrina,” Graves said. “Sabrina exemplifies what it means to be an Oregon Duck and represents everything our program is about. Even in a part-time position, she will have the ability to make an immediate impact on our student athletes and our program as a whole. She is truly a basketball icon who will be able to bond and develop our players off the court.”

“As a kid growing up around football, my family helped me develop my passion for basketball and all the values ​​that it rewards,” Ionescu said. “When I arrived in Oregon, I joined a new family that shared the same values ​​and helped me grow even more as a player and as a person. A part of my heart stays with Eugene, and I look forward to maintaining the same family atmosphere.” Future Ducks in Oregon’s women’s basketball program.”

In four years under Graves, Ionescu left a lasting legacy. A two-time Wade and Wooden Trophy winner, Ionescu is the all-time NCAA leader — female or male — with 26 career triple-doubles and the only player in NCAA history with at least 2,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 1,000 career assists .

She became the first No. 1 overall pick in program history after being selected by the New York Liberty in the 2020 WNBA draft. Ionescu earned her first WNBA All-Star appearance in 2022 and helped lead the Liberty to a playoff spot on their way to All-WNBA Second Team designation.

Ionescu earned her bachelor’s degree in general social sciences with a law minor just 36 months after arriving on the University of Oregon campus.

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