Ionescu joins Graves’ staff as Director of Athletic Culture

Oregon legend Sabrina Ionescu will join head women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves’ support staff in a part-time capacity as director of athletic culture, the ninth-year head coach announced Friday.

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

“There is no better person I could think of for this position than Sabrina,” Graves said. “Sabrina exemplifies what it means to be an Oregon Duck and she represents everything our program is about. Even in just a part-time capacity, she will have the ability to make an immediate impact on our student-athletes and our program as a whole. She truly is a basketball icon that will be able to connect and develop our players off the court.”

“As a kid growing up in the game, my family helped me develop my passion for basketball and all the values it rewards, “said Ionescu. “When I arrived at Oregon, I joined a new family that embraced those same values and helped me grow even more as a player and as a person. Part of my heart remains in Eugene, and I look forward to cultivating the same family atmosphere for future Ducks in the Oregon 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 is 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 she was 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 berth on her way to being named All-WNBA Second Team.

Ionescu earned her bachelor’s degree in general social sciences, with a minor in legal studies, in just 36 months after she arrived on campus at the University of Oregon.