The Liberty made the obvious choice with the first overall pick of Friday's WNBA Draft, selecting two-time Wooden Award winner Sabrina Ionescu from the University of Oregon.
Ionescu leaves Oregon as one of the most awarded players in the history of college basketball. The NCAA's all-time leader in triple-doubles and the first player in the history of college basketball with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 1,000 assists, Ionescu is a three-time Pac-12 Player of the Year, as well as the AP, USBWA and Naismith Player of the Year in 2020.
She finished her four seasons with the Ducks with career averages of 18.0 points, 7.7 assists, and 7.3 rebounds.
The 5-foot-11 point guard joins a Liberty team that will now be calling Barclays Center their full-time home for the 2020 season.
Speaking to SNY's Maria Marino via conference call prior to the draft, Ionescu, a California native, spoke about how she hasn't been to New York much in the past, but she's excited about now being able to call Brooklyn home.
"Honestly, I haven't been to New York that many times. I've only been there twice, so I don't really know a lot about New York," Ionescu said. "But I am definitely, hopefully, excited for that opportunity to play there at Barclays Center and just the marketability there in New York, the hustle and bustle is something that can be beneficial not only to myself as a person, but as a brand for women's basketball. So if I get that opportunity, I'll definitely be excited to use that to the best of my ability."
Ionescu was the first of the Liberty's three first-round choices on Friday, as they acquired extra draft assets in a three-team trade that saw Tina Charles go to the Washington Mystics on Wednesday. In total, the Liberty held three picks in the first round, two picks in the second round, and one pick in the third and final round.
The Librerty selected UConn forward Megan Walker with the ninth overall pick, and then took Louisville's Jazmine Jones with the 12th pick.
In the second round, the Liberty took Louisville forward Kylee Shook and Duke forward Leaonna Odom with the 15th pick.
New York rounded out its draft by taking Rice guard Erica Ogwumike with the 26th choice.
Ionescu was the clear choice for the Liberty with the first overall pick, and she now becomes the new face of the franchise.
"I think the potential is there without question," Olympic gold medalist and current ESPN WNBA analyst Rebecca Lobo told Marino. "To me, she's a perfect fit for New York. The New York fan base is just a little different. There's an awareness of sports and sports culture and she's perfectly suited for that, not only her game which is next level but her personality, drive, will to win... She lives for the big moments."
Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and other Nets also took some time to welcome Ionescu to Brooklyn.