How Sabrina Ionescu Is Balancing Upcoming Olympics with Her WNBA Season: ‘Prioritize the Task at Hand’ (Exclusive)

"I just want to fully be there mentally," the New York Liberty star says of the upcoming Summer Games

<p>CULT and Milani Cosmetics</p> Sabrina Ionescu for Milani Cosmetics

CULT and Milani Cosmetics

Sabrina Ionescu for Milani Cosmetics

Sabrina Ionescu is getting ready for an action-packed summer of basketball.

The New York Liberty player, 26, tells PEOPLE she's "very excited" to join the 2024 USA Basketball Women’s National Team, which includes fellow WNBA stars A'ja Wilson and Brittney Griner, in Paris when the Summer Olympic Games kick off on July 26.

Ionescu says competing for Team USA is a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and experience," even though it means she'll have little downtime this summer. The ongoing WNBA season, which tipped off in May, doesn't conclude until September, meaning the basketball players who are vying for gold at the international event will have limited rest time during an already competitive schedule.

"There's so much going on with the Olympics being in the middle of a season. It's right after All-Star break," Ionescu explains. "There's just so many things going on at the same time, and then you come back and you literally presume the season two days after."

<p>CULT and Milani Cosmetics</p> Sabrina Ionescu for Milani Cosmetics

CULT and Milani Cosmetics

Sabrina Ionescu for Milani Cosmetics

Related: Sabrina Ionescu Says Her Wedding Was Offseason 'Highlight': 'Still Getting Used to Saying Husband' (Exclusive)

Ionescu says she's planning to handle the hectic schedule by staying present and grounded. "I believe it's just being in the moment and being present with where your feet are," she shares.

She adds, "And so I'm trying to just prioritize what's the task that's at hand and not letting any moment pass me by in those situations. Because I do understand it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I just want to fully be there mentally."

Lately, Ionescu, who married NFL player Hroniss Grasu in March, says she winds down from the pressures of WNBA stardom by spending time with her family. The Liberty guard shares, "My family has been able to come out the last couple weeks for these home games, and so it's really just been spending time with everyone who's been able to come and make it out, go out to dinner and just take yourself away from basketball."

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Ionescu also relies on her Make It Last Setting Spray by Milani Cosmetics when she's traveling during a busy season and gearing up for the Olympics. "I've actually found myself using it more than I ever thought I would," she says of the spray, which is at the center of the brand's new campaign, "Face Set. Mind Set."

"Just in terms of whenever you're out on the road traveling, being able to use it to really just set you up for the whole day and not really have to worry about your makeup moving," she shares. "It just feels so fresh and clean, and you don't even really have to think about it, which is, I think, what has really compelled me to use it all the time."

<p>CULT and Milani Cosmetics</p> Sabrina Ionescu for Milani Cosmetics

CULT and Milani Cosmetics

Sabrina Ionescu for Milani Cosmetics

Related: Caitlin Clark Says Her Goal Is to Join Team USA at Paris Olympics: ‘It’s Where I Want to Be’

When it comes to makeup, Ionescu doesn't wear any on the court. But she thinks it's "super important" for athletes to be able to express themselves, acknowledging that she has "some teammates that do." She adds, "I think it gives you an opportunity to be who you are outside of the court or the field or whatever sport you're playing, and I feel that's super important."

The basketball star continues by saying, "I'm not always wearing makeup 24/7, but I think when I am, you're really able to see a different side of who you are when you're in your sport, and so I think that's a huge part in just athletes being able to tell their stories and that duality of who you are at work, but then who you are outside of work."

Ionescu adds, "I think there is this acceptance around being comfortable in your own skin. And whether that's wearing makeup or not, I think it's just staying true to who you are, but feeling yourself and feeling that that's who you should be."

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To learn more about all the Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, visit and come to to check out ongoing coverage before, during and after the games. Watch the Paris Olympics and Paralympics, beginning July 26, on NBC and Peacock.

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