Dealing with the spotlight is something that has always come easy to Kia Nurse, so when the former UConn Huskies leader was selected with the 10th pick in the WNBA Draft by the New York Liberty who reside in the media capital of the world, it wasn’t a big deal to her.
Kia Nurse is coming to The Big Apple ! #NYLiberty
I’m excited, Nurse told The Shadow League, at the 2018 WNBA Draft at Nike Headquarters in Manhattan on Thursday. It’s a great city to be in. It’s a great franchise. I’ve seen them play numerous times over the summer and this was a great fit for me.
It was almost a rite of passage for a 6-0 guard from Ontario Canada who was starring on the Canadian National Team as a high school player before joining the Huskies vaunted program. She played in the 2014 FIBA World Championship, took a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games and won tournament MVP at the 2015 FIBA Americas Women’s Championship — as a teenager.
Nurse helped UConn win a record 111 games in a row and won two National Championships in the process performing under Geno Auriemma’s reign of invincibility.
Kia’s father Richard Nurse played in the CFL and her mom Cathy Nurse was a basketball player at McMaster University in Canada. Her older sister Tamika Nurse played basketball for Oregon and Bowling Green.
CBC HNIC with a special on the Nurse family.
Her brother is Edmonton Oilers NHL player Darnell Nurse. And you already should know how he gives it up on the ice.
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If you want to keep going, her cousin is Sarah Nurse, who played for the Wisconsin Badgers women’s ice hockey program and competed at the 2018 Winter Olympics for Team Canada.
Ready for the icer?
Shes also the niece of former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb who is married to her aunt Raquel Nurse McNabb, a former point guard at Syracuse University. So it was only natural that the baby of the bunch was going to excel at a sport and it happened to be hoops and pressure never seemed to throw her for a loop.
kianurse from #uconnhuskies is No.10 pick of #WNBADraft by #newyorkliberty
When I spoke to Nurse her demeanor was the same as it is on the court; calm, fierce and confident. She has already moved on from those stinging Final Four losses the last two seasons which rocked women’s hoops and ended undefeated streaks for UConn. Her business at Storrs is done.
I would say this is a new chapter in my life, Nurse told The Shadow League, and I have to focus on what’s relevant now and just move on. For me, that’s focusing on trying to make a WNBA team.”
Top 10 pick or not, Nurse is taking nothing for granted. She hasn’t secured the bag yet.
Obviously, with my rookie season, I’m just trying to go in there and soak up what I can from the vets and see what I need to improve my game and how it measures up against the elite so far.
There’s a separation that occurs at the pro level that sucks some athletes up. Nurse knows she has to be prepared now that shes reached the WNBA. It was a goal since she picked up a basketball at four years old and she’s not trying to be the weak branch on the family tree.