A Sabrina Ionescu 2020 Panini Prizm WNBA Black Gold rookie card sold for $10,800 on Sunday night at PWCC Marketplace, becoming the highest price ever paid for any WNBA card at a public auction and the first one to sell for five figures.
"This is a milestone moment for WNBA trading cards," Vice President of Sales at PWCC Marketplace Jesse Craig told CBS Sports. "It's no surprise this record has been set by Ionescu. From the moment she was drafted by the New York Liberty she has been the focal point of WNBA trading cards."
A new record for any @wnba card. 🏀📈 pic.twitter.com/wRjbm8spPP— PWCC (@PWCCmarketplace) February 20, 2023
The price tag shows the value of her popularity, even though the former Oregon star has only been in the league since 2020. The card sold is one of just five copies in existence and is graded as a perfect Gem Mint 10 by third-party grader PSA.
Per PWCC, the record sale includes all public sales data from major marketplaces and auction houses, but does not include unverifiable reports of private deals.
On Feb. 24, 2020, Ionescu became the first player -- male or female -- in NCAA history to register 2,000 points, 1,000 assists, and 1,000 rebounds. She still holds the women's college basketball triple-double record with a total of 26 during her time with the Ducks.
Ionescu was the No. 1 pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft, but she missed most of her rookie season with a left ankle sprain. She bounced back the following year when she became the fastest player to record a triple-double in WNBA history in what was just her sixth game at the professional level. For that achievement, Ionescu registered 26 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds on May 18, 2021 -- which became the first triple-double in Liberty history and the tenth all-time in WNBA history.
Her momentum continued in 2022 when she registered the WNBA's first 30-point triple-double. That was in July, the same month when she became the fastest Liberty draftee to reach the 1,000-career point mark in just 66 games.
This coming season is set to be even more exciting as New York will have a super team. The Liberty recently added two-time WNBA champion Breanna Stewart, 2021 MVP Jonquel Jones and former Chicago Sky superstar Courtney Vandersloot.
"The table is set for one of the most exciting WNBA seasons to date and Ionescu is right at the forefront," Craig said. "Collectors are anticipating that energy and excitement and looking to buy premier Ionescu cards. We're entering an interesting phase here where supply for these high-end cards won't be able to match the demand."