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Sports News:
Ionescu excited to return to court after 8 months away

(*8*)

NEW YORK (AP) – Sabrina Ionescu is excited to be enjoying basketball once more practically eight months after spraining her ankle 21/2 video games into her rookie season with the New York Liberty.

The No. 1 choose within the 2020 draft is raring to go after a protracted rehab course of. Her staff will tip off the twenty fifth WNBA season on May 14 at house towards Indiana.

“I’m trying not to think too much about it,” Ionescu stated in a Zoom interview. “I learned my lesson last year that it can be taken away at any moment. I look forward to any time I can step on the court. In the back of my head, I can’t wait to play in my first game since it’s been a really long time.”

Ionescu suffered a Grade 3 sprain in her left ankle on July 31 within the Liberty’s third recreation of the yr. She was unable to return final season and underwent surgical procedure in November to take away scar tissue that had shaped within the ankle.

“It’s been tough. tests you as a player, mentally, physically,” Ionescu stated. “It taught me a lot about myself. A lot about what’s important. The mental aspect of everything. taking it one day at a time. controlling what you can.”

The street wasn’t a straightforward one for Ionescu, who hadn’t actually had such an prolonged break from enjoying basketball in her younger profession. She leaned on recommendation from household, mates and Steph Curry.

“I talked to Steph for sure since he had so many ankle injuries,” stated Ionescu, who rehabbed at house in California. “Talked to him and asked him how he felt returning to play. The confidence he had and what he went through. He gave me great advice.”

The Liberty are taking it sluggish with their younger star, easing her again to court actions throughout coaching camp, which started earlier this week.

“I want to take an abundance of caution with Sabrina,” Liberty coach Walt Hopkins stated. “Make sure she’s in a good place. Not rush anything.”

It wasn’t all rehab for Ionescu during the last eight months. She teamed with Xbox to shock her former youth basketball staff – The Cal Stars – with sneakers, and customized Xbox controllers.

“it was a fun project,” she stated. “I was super excited to see how happy the girls were. To be able to do it in person and obviously being safe, it was really fun.”

Now she’s in New York, prepared to assist the Liberty enhance on final season’s 2-20 end. The staff did add a number of key items round Ionescu, with the addition of Natasha Howard, Sami Whitcomb and Betnijah Laney.

“I’m really excited. We have great players that we have coming in and a good returning core as well,” Ionescu stated. Really just like the gamers we’ve got right here. Love the teaching employees, love every little thing concerning the possession and group. I would like to Take this group to new heights.”

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