Sabrina Ionescu, the budding WNBA superstar, and CC Sabathia, the recently-retired MLB All-Star, are at opposing junctures of decorated careers.
Ionescu is just starting her journey after putting together one of the most decorated resumes in college basketball history. The child of Romanian immigrants, she shattered multiple college basketball records playing for the University of Oregon, where she ended up the Pac-12 all-time assists leader (breaking Gary Payton’s record), as well as the only NCAA Division I player ever to record 2,000 points, 1,000 assists, and 1,000 rebounds. Named the best collegiate female basketball player in the nation, she was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 WNBA draft by the New York Liberty. Though injuries early in the pandemic-plagued season prevented her from realizing her first-year potential, she’s ready to fulfill her promise as the league prepares for its ’21 season.
On the other end of the career spectrum is Sabathia, who helped the New York Yankees win a World Series in 2009, led MLB in wins in both ’09 and ’10, was a six-time All-Star, and struck out over 3,000 in a brilliant career. Now the host of the popular R2C2 podcast with co-host Ryan Ruocco, he’s also an entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Rich Kleiman talks to Sabathia and Ionescu on “Out of Office” about the pressures and joys of playing under the New York spotlight, the special relationship Ionescu had with Kobe Bryant, and how the WNBA “wubble” revved up Ionescu’s competitive juices. They also get into her career goals and Sabathia’s post-retirement moves.
This episode was recorded on April 22 as part of a live Boardroom University event.