Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Three Beautiful Things 02/24/20: Making Crab Stock, Canceled Trip, Sabrina Ionescu and an Unforgettable 02/24/20

1. Ha! My house smells like a Chesapeake Bay crab shack. I borrowed Christy's crock pot so I could have three slow cookers going at once, and filled each one with crab shells, onion, celery, some greens, and some seasoning and got going on this year's project making crab stock, using shells from the Kellogg Elks Crab Feed. I still have one more bag of shells in the freezer. My guess is, if I have enough containers to put the stock in, that I'll get right to work boiling down those shells as soon as the batches I'm fixing now are finished.

2. Debbie and I confirmed with one another today that she will be staying in NY in April to help out Josh and Adrienne with Ellie and Jack and with giving the family a hand with things around the house. About a month ago, we thought Debbie would return to Kellogg, be able to look after Charly, and that I'd go back to Maryland and see Molly's family and then go to New York and meet Ellie and visit Josh, Adrienne, and Jack. For now, I have canceled those plans and am hoping it's a postponement. I am 100 percent in support of the cancellation/postponement. It's necessary and I get it. I am hoping that spring will have sprung in Kellogg come April and that I'll be able to get out and enjoy the beauty of local trails and get back to hiking.

3. Tonight, basketball fans got to see one of the most remarkable evenings in the history of the sport.

It would have been scintillating enough, on an ordinary day, that Oregon's women were playing Stanford. After all, the game was in Palo Alto, Stanford was just one game behind the first place Ducks, both teams were vying for a conference title, and these are the conference's two premier programs.

But the day involved much more than the basketball game.

This morning, the Celebration of Life for Gianna and Kobe Bryant took place in Los Angeles at Staples Center.

It was held today, on 02/24, because Gianna wore the jersey number 2 and Kobe wore 24.

But, that's not all.

Sabrina Ionescu wears the number 20.

Kobe Bryant and Sabrina Ionsecu had become close personal friends and close basketball associates. Without question, when he was alive, Kobe Bryant was Sabrina Ionescu's most important mentor, influence, and inspiration and, in the aftermath of Bryant's death, Ionescu has dedicated her basketball life and her performances to the memory of Kobe Bryant.

So, today was 02/24/20. Gianna. Kobe. Sabrina.

This morning Sabrina Ionescu delivered a stirring tribute to Kobe and Gianna at the Celebration of Life.

Soon after, she flew north and arrived in Palo Alto in the early afternoon to prepare for this game against Stanford.

She was sick. She was vomiting. She didn't join her team for pre-game warm ups.

She no doubt hydrated and saved what energy she had left after her emotional speech, a flight, and an afternoon of illness for the game itself.

So how did Sabrina Ionsecu perform at the end of such a demanding day?

And, how did the Ducks perform?

Kobe Bryant had taken an active interest in this team and Sabrina Ionescu was far from alone in being aggrieved by his death.

The Ducks won, 74-66.

In my view, they won largely because the Ducks did what they do best when they are at their best.

They picked each other up.

Ruthy Hebard had an off night. Stanford's inside players clogged the key, making it difficult for Hebard to roll to the basket after setting screens. Moreover, she got into early foul trouble and spent quite a bit of time on the bench. Hebard averages nearly 17 points per game and tonight she only scored 4 points.

Someone needed to pick up for her; someone needed to score well over her average and help pick up those 13 points Hebard didn't score.

Well, that someone was, for starters, Satou Sabally. She took it upon herself to score after aggressive drives to the basket, get fouled, make 3 of 5 free throws, and pop in 4 of her 7 three point attempts. She scored 27 points, eleven above her average points per game.

She helped pick up for Hebard.

So did Sabrina Ionescu. Ionescu averages about 17 points a game and tonight she scored 21 and she dished out 12 assists, meaning that she had a hand in about 60% of Oregon's points.

She helped pick up for Hebard's off scoring night and she kept her teammates involved in the offense with her pinpoint passes.

And, that's not all.

Had this game only involved a stellar night after a demanding day for Sabrina Ionescu and a crucial win over Stanford, it would have been remarkable.

But, no.

This game played on 02/24/20 (Gianna, Kobe, Sabrina) was also the game when Ionescus, with 1:47 left in the third quarter snagged her 1000th career rebound.

For her career, and, keep in mind, not one single basketball player in the history of all of college basketball has done what I'm about to record, Sabrina Ionescu has scored over 2000 points, dished out over 1000 assists, and snared over 1000 rebounds.

It's mind boggling that one player would be this versatile and rack up these numbers.

This career performance can only be compared to..to...to..to no one.

To be such a prolific scorer, passer (enabling teammates to score), and rebounder is evidence of Sabrina Ionescu's unparalleled proficiency in these three areas of offensive skill, tenacity, and productivity.

Tonight Sabrina Ionescu, to use a tired metaphor, crashed a ceiling and what she did will be equaled or surpassed only if she inspires some future player to develop such versatility and to play college basketball for four years.

And that's not all.

By scoring 21 points, pulling down 12 rebounds, and dishing out 12 assists, Sabrina recorded a triple double for the 26th time in her career. No other player in the history of all of college basketball is even in her time zone of having achieved this statistic.

I find it uncanny that all of this happened on the night of 02/24/20. 

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