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Volume 26 No. 227
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WNBA Liberty Drafting Oregon's Ionescu Could Revitalize Team

Ionescu could provide WNBA with a more competitive team in its biggest media market
Photo: getty images
Ionescu could provide WNBA with a more competitive team in its biggest media market
Photo: getty images
Ionescu could provide WNBA with a more competitive team in its biggest media market
Photo: getty images

The WNBA N.Y. Liberty "could establish" themselves as a "premier team for the next decade" if they use their No. 1 overall draft pick in April to take Oregon G Sabrina Ionescu, according to Barbara Barker of NEWSDAY. Ionescu has the potential to "revive the Liberty franchise, which is struggling to find its footing after playing the past two seasons in the tiny Westchester County Center while the team tried to finalize its sale." She also has the potential to "bring some new interest to the WNBA, which could only benefit from having a competitive team in its biggest media market." Liberty GM Jonathan Kolb "believes it will help all of women's basketball if there is a strong team" in N.Y. Kolb said, "It's vital. I think we can be the forefront of the league." Barker noted the WNBA is "at a bit of a crossroads." The league has dealt with some "unique challenges over the course of its 23 seasons," including "sexism, homophobia and racism." Legacy sports media, particularly TV, radio and print, "haven't paid much attention to women's sports beyond high school." Barker: "Bringing an exciting star and brand of basketball to New York could only help as the league re-brands and attempts to appeal to younger viewers" (NEWSDAY, 1/9).