Sabrina Ionescu emerged as both a generational talent and a face of women’s basketball during her college career at Oregon.

Now, New York City and the WNBA await.

The Liberty made a long-anticipated and easy decision official Friday night by selecting Ionescu, the superstar point guard, with the first-overall pick of the WNBA Draft, marking what could turn out to be a monumental day for the franchise.

“The fact that I’ll be able to be in Brooklyn and have a platform and a voice in kind of the mecca of the world is going to be amazing,” Ionescu said on a conference call. “I’m just excited for that opportunity, having done it in Eugene and changing the way people view women’s sports in Eugene. Just excited to take that with me to Brooklyn and hopefully use it for a bigger good in that bigger marketplace.”

Ionescu, whose play and competitive fire enthralled a fanbase that grew to include the likes of Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry and LeBron James, rewrote the NCAA record book for men and women during her dominant college career. The 5-foot-11 pick-and-roll specialist finished her four-year career with 2,562 points, 1,091 assists and 1,040 rebounds — the first-ever player to surpass 2,000 points, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds — while setting a new standard with 26 career triple-doubles.

After leaving her mark on Oregon and the women’s college game, Ionescu will have the chance to do the same for the Liberty and WNBA — a challenge the two-time national player of the year is diving into head-first.

“I know there’s a lot of pressure, but I’m really just excited to take that on and see where it takes me,” said Ionescu, who confirmed she had signed with Nike after Under Armour and Puma both vied for her endorsement in a sneaker war. “Just excited to use that as motivation to continue to get better in all aspects of my game.”

Sabrina Ionescu
Sabrina IonescuGetty Images

The Liberty have gone 17-51 over the past two seasons, which helped them win the draft lottery last September. They have a new head coach in Walt Hopkins, whose offense features the pick-and-roll that Ionescu mastered at Oregon, and, whenever the season is able to begin in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, will start playing their home games at Barclays Center. They also traded away their most established star, Tina Charles, on Wednesday, but after two more trades Friday night, they wound up with six new draft picks (all in the top 15 overall) to inject the roster with young talent and versatility.

The blank canvas is now Ionescu’s to take over.