LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 02: Layshia Clarendon #23 of the Connecticut Sun drives against the Las Vegas Aces during their game at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on June 2, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Sun defeated the Aces 80-74. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images )

Two new members of the New York Liberty, Layshia Clarendon and Sabrina Ionescu, recently met while adhering to social distancing.

Layshia Clarendon has yet to lace up her New York Liberty sneakers, but she’s already coming through in the clutch. Social distancing guidelines proved no obstacle for Clarendon in her quest to make Sabrina Ionescu an official part of the Liberty.


The WNBA veteran welcomed the touted rookie and fellow newly minted New Yorker in a video shared on the Liberty’s social media accounts. Clarendon comes through with a box of gear for the former Oregon Duck, which included a Liberty-branded face mask and hoodie.

All the while, Clarendon and Ionescu maintain an appropriate distance, even greeting each other with an “air hug” that brought massive smiles from both.

The video concludes with a message from Ionescu to the fans, with the rookie expressing her excitement to come over to New York.

“(I’m) super excited to be part of the team,” Ionescu says. “I can’t wait to get to Brooklyn and start practicing.”

Ionescu’s welcoming moment from Clarendon will likely be the first of many get-togethers between the two. The two guards began their basketball careers in California and graduated from Pac-12 schools. Clarendon was a first-round pick (ninth overall) out of Cal-Berkeley in the 2013 WNBA draft, while Ionescu was the top overall pick in the most recent selections staged on Friday.

Clarendon, 28, signed with the Liberty in February after spending the past two seasons with the Connecticut Sun. She is now the most experienced member of the Liberty roster after Tina Charles was traded to the Washington Mystics last week.

Ionescu noted her excitement about working with Clarendon in her first remarks as a member of the Liberty shortly after her selection.

“I know that they picked up Clarendon and she’s been a great guard in the league,” Ionescu said. “I’m just excited to learn from her. She’s had experience, and so I’m excited to learn from her on and off the court.”

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags