Record-Breaking Performance: Sabrina Ionescu Dominates WNBA 3-Point Contest, Captures Crown

Sabrina Ionescu Crowned Champion of WNBA 3-Point Contest

The WNBA’s annual 3-point contest had an unprecedented champion this year. Sabrina Ionescu, a player for the New York Liberty, captured the title on Friday during the 2023 All-Star Weekend held in Las Vegas. Commentator Ryan Ruocco of ESPN dubbed her performance as “the greatest we have ever seen in this contest.” Ionescu left spectators in awe as she knocked down 25 of 27 three-point shots, setting a new all-time record for both the NBA and WNBA. Her near-perfect final run secured her victory and solidified her place as the new queen of the 3-point contest.

Reflecting on her remarkable achievement, Ionescu shared, “I was just focused on making one at a time. I wasn’t sure how many I missed, but I knew it wasn’t a lot.” This win adds to Ionescu’s impressive track record, as she previously emerged victorious in the 2022 WNBA All-Star Skills Challenge. Her dedication to practicing live repetitions and honing her skills paid off in a historic triumph.

Ionescu finished the contest with a score of 37 points, with money balls worth two points and starry balls worth three points. Sami Whitcomb of the Seattle Storm secured second place with 24 points, while Arike Ogunbowale of the Dallas Wings claimed third place with 11 points. Ionescu’s victory was celebrated by the crowd at the Michelob ULTRA Arena, her fellow contestants, and even Allie Quigley, the dominant force in the 3-point contest from 2017 to 2021. As Quigley opted out of the 2023 season, Ionescu was granted the opportunity to hoist the coveted 3-point trophy.

The 3-point contest marked the culmination of the festivities on Friday, preceding the highly anticipated All-Star Game, which would take place the following day. The event showcased impressive skills and talent, setting the stage for a thrilling weekend of competition.

In addition to the 3-point contest, the WNBA All-Star Skills Challenge captivated fans with its intense display of athleticism. Chelsea Gray of the Las Vegas Aces spearheaded Team Aces’ victory in the challenge, edging out Sabrina Ionescu and her New York Liberty teammate Courtney Vandersloot of Team Liberty. Gray’s exceptional performance played a pivotal role in securing the win, with Kelsey Plum highlighting her teammate’s contribution, saying, “Chelsea carried us.”

The Skills Challenge featured a series of skill tests, including a 25-inch chest pass, pylon dribbles, a basket in the lane, a corner three-point shot, and a basket on the opposite end of the court. Although Plum encountered difficulties during the final round, missing all three corner three-point attempts, Gray stepped up and delivered an impeccable run, sealing Team Vegas’ victory with a time of 46 seconds. Reflecting on her success, Gray expressed her satisfaction, stating, “I was practicing before and just tried to make as many as possible. This is a cool event, and I’m happy.”

Team Liberty, on the other hand, completed the challenge with a time of 58 seconds, as Vandersloot and Ionescu struggled to find their rhythm from beyond the arc. Vandersloot missed all three of her corner three-point attempts, while Ionescu faltered on two occasions. However, Ionescu’s minor setback in the Skills Challenge did not overshadow her outstanding performance in the 3-point contest.

Looking ahead, Gray and Plum will join forces with A’ja Wilson on Team A’ja Wilson for the All-Star Game, while Vandersloot and Ionescu will team up with Breanna Stewart on Team Breanna Stewart. The stage is set for an exciting clash of talent and skill as the WNBA All-Stars converge to showcase their abilities on the court.

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