'She is not good. She is the best': How Sabrina Ionescu's dad predicted her rise to the top

Apr 22, 2021
PHOTO: (Left) AP

WHEN LUKA Dukich first heard Sabrina Ionescu's dad talk about his daughter, he initially dismissed it as the usual supportive spiel every dad would say about his daughter.

Little did he know that this Uber driver's prediction would come true.

Dukich shared this incredible true story about the New York Liberty star that happened way before Ionescu made it to the headlines.

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    “I was in San Francisco a couple years ago, and got to talking to our Uber driver. He was a friendly Romanian dude. He asked about work and we started talking ball,” Luka Dukich, whose Twitter username is @itsluka, shared in a tweet.

    Dukich, according to the NBA website, is the current director of digital content for Chicago Bulls. At the time, he and his driver fell to talking about hoops, creating an instant connection.

    “He told me his daughter was going to play basketball. ‘She must be good!’ I said,” he continued. “He turned to me and raised a finger, and said ‘No. She is not good. She is the best.’”

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    Though he appreciated his response, he thought it was just one of the typical remarks from any supportive parent.

    “I’m from the Balkans, I’ve been around proud Eastern Euro parents my entire life, they’re a people who always have ‘the best’ everything. I sort of laughed and was like ‘that’s awesome man,’” Dukich said.

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    Dukich did not timestamp the exchange, but it was most like not earlier than 2016, since the California native point guard played college ball with Oregon Ducks from 2016 to 2020, before she was chosen as Liberty’s No. 1 pick in 2020 WNBA Draft.

    The Twitter user continued: “We talked about hoops a little bit longer and he gave me his card in case I ever needed a ride somewhere. Couple years later, it turns out he was 100% right. She was the best.”

    As proof, Dukich posted a photo of a calling card that had the name “Dan Ionescu” on it.

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    Sabrina confirmed it in a separate tweet, reposting the thread with the comment: “Yep, sounds like my dad… haha”

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    Before she even approached the WNBA, Ionescu has long been making her mark in the women’s basketball scene in the States.

    She was an integral part of a USA team that played in several Fiba World Cups.

    Ionescu also visited the Philippines once in 2018 for a 3x3 game.

    During her college career, she won two John R. Wooden Awards, the 2020 Naismith Player of the Year, and 2020 AP Player of the Year, and became an NCAA all-time leader in career triple-doubles.

    Now, she’s itching to return to the floor after a successful recovery from an ankle sprain that required surgery during her rookie season.

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    PHOTO: (Left) AP
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