WNBA All-Star Friday Recap: Sabrina Ionescu sets 3-point record, Aces win skills competition

Photo Credit: Akiem Bailum

Prior to the main event that is the actual WNBA All-Star Game on Saturday, Michelob Ultra Arena got itself all dressed up to welcome fans to All-Star Friday. 

The day prior to the All-Star Game itself was WNBA All-Star Friday – including a Skills Competition and a 3-Point Contest. By the conclusion of WNBA All-Star Friday, it saved its best for last. 

The 3-Point Competition included Sabrina Ionescu (New York Liberty), Sami Whitcomb (Seattle Storm), DiJonai Carrington (Connecticut Sun), Kelsey Mitchell (Indiana Fever), Jackie Young (Las Vegas Aces) and Arike Ogunbowale (Dallas Wings). 

One knew that six of the premier 3-point shooters in the WNBA would put on a show. Not too many expected that the show would have an eye-popping finale. 

Ionescu dropped 37 points in the final round to set an all-time record for either the WNBA or NBA. Whitcomb and Ogunbowale also advanced to the final round but the Oregon great’s 37 all but put it away as she took home this year’s 3-Point Contest hardware. 

Whitcomb had 24. Ionescu only missed two shots in the final round. 

Prior to Ionescu setting that new record, the previous high school for a 3-point contest on the WNBA side was, of course, a 31 set by Allie Quigley. Her mark was also tied for 31s on the NBA side of things that were established by Tyrese Halliburton and, of course, Stephen Curry. 

“It’s my third season playing in the league and being able to weather the storm, the highs, the lows, continue to learn as a basketball player and as an individual is important. And not putting too much pressure on myself and taking time to be in the moment and enjoy all of these experiences. So, I’m super thankful to be in this position to have accomplished this so far and the first half of the season and not taking this weekend for granted and just being very thankful for everything.”

–Sabrina Ionescu, 3-Point Contest Champion, New York Liberty

Ionescu is becoming used to putting forth great performances at All-Star events. Last year in Chicago, she was the skills contest champion alongside Zoe Brooks – a NC State commit. Last year’s All-Star events were taking place at the same time that Nike’s EYBL Nationals were happening in Chicago. 

Speaking of the skills contest, this year’s rendition featured two from the Aces, Liberty and Wings as well as two from the Atlanta Dream. 

Ionescu and Courtney Vandersloot were the Liberty’s representatives. Chelsea Gray and Kelsey Plum represented the Aces. Ogunbowale and Satou Sabally were the Wings’ representatives while Allisha Gray and Cheyenne Parker were there for the Dream. 

It was only fitting that the representatives of the two “super teams” would be those that would advance. The Aces’ Gray and Plum advanced to the finals of the skills competition against Ionescu and Vandersloot. 

When all was said and done, Gray and Plum managed to put smiles on their home fans’ faces as they bested the seafoam, copper and black in the skills finals.