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Longtime sports broadcaster Ann Schatz knows a thing or two about young talent moving on from their college teams to the professional world.
Schatz, who currently works for the Portland Thorns, broadcasting the games while also commentating for many other national broadcasts, has watched rising superstar Sabrina Ionescu from both on and off the court perspectives.
"Branding in a way that's really refreshing… That's Sabrina Ionescu," Schatz said in a recent interview with NBCSNW.
"She gets social media, she gets branding, she gets platforms. She gets in order to have those platforms, I've got to be accessible, I've got to be out there, I've got to be with the fans, one with them, and I've got to be a great player."
As Ionescu embarks on the next chapter in her life of transitioning from college ball to the WNBA, she has a leg up on already understanding how to carry herself as a professional athlete.
Having a mentor such as Warriors guard Stephen Curry probably didn't hurt either when thinking about how Ionescu has not only made a name for herself on the court, but also the way she carries herself, interacts with fans and media, as well as, how she has already handled the pressures of being the new face of the WNBA.
But, let's not get it twisted: Ionescu's game speaks for itself.
"I think Sabrina's ability to handle the ball, set up her teammates, get those assists and if she needs to take over a game scoring wise -- she can do that," Schatz added.
The long list of accolades and accomplishments Sarbrina has already reached, including, becoming the first NCAA player to reach 2,000 points, 1,000 assists, and 1,000 rebounds in her college career, is now in the rearview mirror. As the No. 1 overall selection in this year's WNBA draft, Oregon Ducks fans and many basketball fans around the world have now become a New York Liberty fan, rooting for Ionescu.
Schatz, like the rest of us, is ready to witness Sabrina's greatness at the next level and all that comes with stardom.
Hear more from Ann Schatz on Sabrina in the video above.
Sabrina Ionescu is a brand and she already knows how to leverage it originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest