With Authority: Sabrina Ionescu talks friendships with Steph and Kobe, college career cut short and going to WNBA

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Sabrina Ionescu is the best women's player in college basketball and she hails from right here in Walnut Creek. The former Miramonte High School star went on to have a record-setting career at Oregon and now is on the doorstep of potentially being the first overall pick in the upcoming WNBA Draft.

Not only is she a one of a kind talent she's also a one of a kind person. She was one of the few people to take the stage and speak at Kobe Bryant's Memorial service in February.

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As her rise to basketball stardom has grown, some of basketball's greatest have taken notice and befriended her including Kobe Bryant and Stephen Curry.

You can see part of her interview on the With Authority Podcast with ABC7 Sports in the video posted above.

Go here to listen to the extended version, as she talks about her properly social-distanced work out with Stephen Curry.



ABC7's Chris Alvarez asked her, "I saw on Instagram you were Stephen Curry, 6 feet away was that from today?"

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"Yeah that was, I was literally just with him, yeah," she said.

"He's been one of my favorite players for 10 years since he's been in the league. Been cool to see that relationship grow and him not knowing who I was and me watching him as rookie to now we are just kind of on the same, basketball players from the Bay Area."



Of course, in the current, strange climate of our country and world, we had to ask, "So how are you dealing with the new normal?"

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"It's definitely unfortunate, especially looking at memories from last year," Sabrina said. "Seeing that we were at the Final Four and realizing that last Sunday would have been the National Championship game. It is unfortunate and not being able to celebrate and hopefully have be there with my team. But still working out and still getting in the gym."



When asked about her Bay Area pride, Sabrina was quick to say she has her sights set on giving back to local communities.

"I was born in Walnut Creek, raised in Walnut Creek and still live in Walnut Creek. So I love it here and I love being able to come back play here. I'm happy the WNBA season isn't like a full time job, it is about 3-4 months. There is a lot of time to come back here and impact the community. Trying to give back to my schools, so I am excited to be able to have that opportunity to give back to a city that gave so much to me."



Go here for the latest episodes of the With Authority podcast and ABC7 News sports coverage.
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