An encounter with Sabrina Ionescu

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A parent bragging about their child is no surprise.

But a parent bragging about their child who later becomes the first overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft? Pretty rare.

For one lucky Uber passenger, Luka Dukich, this marvelous story ended up being more than a fable.

Dukich, the director of content for both the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago White Sox, told ESPN that though he doesn’t remember the fine details of the Uber ride — just that it was about three years ago in San Francisco — he does vividly remember his driver.

“We talked about being Eastern European immigrants and basketball. I put his card in my work bag and it stayed there for a long time,” he said. It read “Dan Ionescu” at the top.

While discussing basketball, Ionescu bragged about his daughter, who he said was going to soon play college hoops.

“She must be good!” said Dukich.

“No,” Ionescu replied.” She is not good. She is the best.”

The interaction is now a viral Twitter thread because of who Dan’s daughter is: New York Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu.

Dukich said he and his fiance recently pulled out the card and made the connection.

Sabrina Ionescu helped the thread go viral — it’s at five million views and counting as of Thursday afternoon — when she quote tweeted it and confirmed the account.

Ionescu played basketball at Miramonte High School in Orinda, California — which is right outside the Bay Area — before going on to star at the University of Oregon. Her father left Romania in 1989 for Northern Carolina, seeking political asylum.

Dan Ionescu told ESPN in March 2019 that he eventually found what he called the American Dream, turning a taxicab job into his own limousine company.

Dukich called the women in the WNBA “total badasses [who] play great basketball.”

“… when I posted this I thought it’d just be a fun story for the people in my network and thought it’d be cool if she saw it and saw how her dad was proud of her even to total strangers,” Dukich said.

His only regret? The way he scribbled out Sabrina’s father’s personal contact information.

“I did such a janky scribble job crossing out his contact info on his business card, I 100% would have made that look a lot nicer if I knew five million people were going to see it,” he said.

Regardless, Dukich said he can’t wait to see Ionescu dominate this season.

Ionescu’s rookie season ended early due to an ankle injury in August 2020, but she is expected to play May 14 when New York opens the 2021 WNBA season against the Indiana Fever.





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