UO star Nyara Sabally drafted to WNBA, will join fellow Duck in New York

By Rob Manning (OPB)
April 12, 2022 1:39 p.m. Updated: April 13, 2022 2:19 p.m.

Sabally, picked fifth overall, will team up with Sabrina Ionescu on the New York Liberty.

The University of Oregon is sending another phenomenal member of its women’s basketball program to New York City.

Nyara Sabally was selected fifth overall by the New York Liberty, where she’ll join famous former teammate Sabrina Ionescu, a star player who helped lead the Oregon Ducks in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.

Oregon's Nyara Sabally, on the right, poses for a photo with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert at the 2022 draft.

Oregon's Nyara Sabally, right, poses for a photo with commissioner Cathy Engelbert after being selected by the New York Liberty as the fifth overall pick in the WNBA basketball draft, Monday, April 11, 2022, in New York.

Adam Hunger / AP


Sabally’s most productive years as a Duck were after Ionescu left Eugene. Sabally was injured throughout her freshman and sophomore seasons, but she stayed healthy her last two years, and averaged 14.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game over that period.

Sabally will also see a very familiar face on one opposing team in the WNBA: her sister, Satou, who’ll enter her third season playing for the Dallas Wings. Satou Sabally played three seasons at Oregon starting with the 2017-18 season, before entering the WNBA draft in 2020.

“This has been a dream ever since I can remember – sharing the court with Satou,” Nyara Sabally said in an interview on ESPN immediately after being chosen Monday. “Playing against her is going to be a lot of fun and I can’t wait.”

It’s the third year in a row that the Ducks have had players taken in the WNBA draft, and Nyara Sabally is the fourth UO women’s player taken in the first round since 2020. That year Ionescu, Ruthie Hebard and Satou Sabally were selected. Ionescu was the first pick in the 2020 draft to the Liberty; the elder Sabally was selected after Ionescu by Dallas as the second pick, with Hebard going eighth to the Chicago Sky.

A year ago, Aina Ayuso was selected in the third round by the Los Angeles Sparks.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story included an Associated Press photo of an Oregon women’s basketball player who was misidentified as Nyara Sabally. The photo has been removed and OPB regrets the error.