Nyara Sabally ‘not taking for granted’ playing for Ducks

Sports

The redshirt-sophomore missed 2 seasons with injury

Nyara Sabally #1 of the Oregon Ducks cuts down a net after the team defeated the Stanford Cardinal 89-56 to win the championship game of the Pac-12 Conference women’s basketball tournament at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on March 8, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After not one but two of her college basketball seasons ended before they began because of knee surgeries, Nyara Sabally is coming into her own at Oregon.

“My love for basketball is so big and just to be on the court and be able to, like, just be on the court and just play feels so great,” Sabally told KOIN 6 News. “I had to, like, get my confidence back but after a couple games it kind of felt like I never stopped playing and now I would say I’m back to my old self.”

That means a confident, powerful, athletic forward. This past Sunday against USC, she knocked down 3 triples.

While rehabbing, the now-redshirt sophomore had a courtside seat as her sister Satou along with Ruthy Hebard and Sabrina Ionescu flew the Duck brand it its highest heights.

“It definitely helped a lot just to see the culture they’ve built here at Oregon,” she said. “It’s definitely an inspiration so it’s, like, one of the major things, like, we’re obviously all looking up to them but we have to understand we’re on our team and have to build our own culture.”

As she comes into her own, Nyara is taking a page from her older sister’s playbook.

“I definitely look up to her, how she leads on the field that’s been a big part. Like, she’s been a really vocal leader which I’m not that good at so I’ve been trying to copy that a little just to, like, get people going on the field.”

As she grows into who she’ll be as a leader, she finds her joy simply in being back on the court.

“I’m not taking it for granted like I did before my 2-years pause,” she said. “It’s definitely an experience that I’ll cherish forever, this year.”

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