22-year-old Kia Nurse is a Canadian basketball player who is a guard for the UCONN Huskies. Now in her senior year playing for Connecticut, Nurse, standing at 6′ tall, is expected to dominate during the 2018 NCAA tournament.
In addition to playing for the Huskies, Nurse played for the Canadian national team and was a gold medalist at the 2015 Pan American Games.
Nurse was also honored as the MVP of the 2015 FIBA Americas Women’s Championship. Her other accomplishments include being selected to the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team, the 2017 American Athletic Conference Second Team, the 2016 American Athletic Conference Third Team, being named the 2015 American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year and being selected to the 2015 American Athletic Conference All-Freshman Team.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Nurse Reached an Incredible 1500 Points Earlier This Season
Nurse scored her 1500th point while playing in a game against Cincinnati, as The Hartford Courant reports. “We used [Nurse] as an example today,” said said teammate Gabby Williams, “just the way she runs the floor, runs hard for layups. Coach says, ‘Everyone’s got to run as hard as she does.’ And you see how successful she’s been, how hard she works, and it inspires the younger guys to want to do that.”
2. Nurse Was Honored for Her On & Off the Court Achievements by Journalist & Television Personality Robin Roberts
Nurse was honored at the Glamour and L’Oreal Paris 2017 College Women of the Year Celebration at La Sirena on April 25, 2017 in New York City by “Good Morning America” and ESPN reporter Robin Roberts. Nurse was among a group of young women honored by Glamour at its 60th annual College Women of the Year Awards held at La Sirena at the Maritime Hotel.
Each recipient is paired with a presenter, and Nurse was paired with Roberts. “We barely talked hoops, we talked life,” said Roberts. “As we’ve been talking about the different areas we’re in — whether it’s fashion, whether it’s women’s rights — we’re all just together. I’m so grateful that you, Cindi and Glamour, are celebrating and embracing athleticism and the strength that these women have along with everybody else here,” wwd.com reported Robin Roberts as saying.
“We got to meet a lot of young women who are aspiring to go to higher education, who have dreams… and then I got to meet the other winners who were scientists, filmmakers, fashion designers, CEOs of their own companies. To see young college women making that much of an impact on the world was inspiring to be a part of,” Nurse told cbc.ca.
3. Nurse Hails From a Family of Athletes & Was Inspired to Play by Her Sister, Tamika
Nurse has stated in interviews that while she drew inspiration from past and present UCONN greats such as Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore, no one inspired her as much as her older sister, Tamika. For Nurse, her sister is the biggest superstar of them all, and was her heroine and biggest motivator while growing up.
Tamika played for Bowling Green and Oregon in addition to the Canadian national team, footsteps in which Nurse would soon follow.
“I just wanted to be everything that [Tamika] was,” Nurse said to The UCONN Blog.. “So when I started coming up, it was, ‘Can I beat my sister?’ Took a while but I got there, I think.”
The athletic history of the Nurse family does not stop at Kia and Tamika. Kia and Tamika Nurse’s father, Richard, played pro football in the CFL. Their uncle, Donovan McNabb, was a star NFL quarterback. The Nurse sisters’ brother, Darnell, plays in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers.
4. Nurse Was Honored as AAC Player of The Week, Recipient of The 2017-2018 CLASS Award, a Third-Team Academic All-America Selection by CoSIDA in 2017 & is a Member of the Athletic Directors’ Honor Roll
“Kia Nurse was honored as a third-team Academic All-America selection by CoSIDA in 2017 and is a member of the Athletic Directors’ Honor Roll after earning a 3.449 GPA,” reports seniorclassaward.com.
During the 2016-2017 season, Nurse played in 33 games for UCONN. She averaged 12.7 points per contest and led the ACC by connecting on three-point field goals at a 46.2 percent clip. Nurse led the league in free throw percentage at 85.5 percent and was fourth in the conference with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.6-to-1. “Nurse was third on the team with 128 assists. She scored in double-figures 20 times and posted a career-high 33 points in only 27-minutes of action in the win over No. 15/14 DePaul on December 1. Nurse was named the 2016-17 Conference Preseason Player of the Year,” as reported by uconnhuskies.com.
Additionally, Nurse was honored alongside teammate Gabby Williams at a special Senior Honors awards night by Coach Geno Auriemma. The two celebrated by performing an impromptu rendition of “Just The Two Of Us.”
5. Nurse, Who Was Scouted by Representatives of Over 50 Teams, Led the Canadian National Team in a Victory Against Serbia & Earned a Gold Medal at the 2015 Pan American Games
Nurse was aggressively recruited from representatives of over 50 universities across the nation prior to her high school graduation. Nurse was able to choose among offers from the most elite schools in the women’s college basketball program before ultimately deciding on UCONN. Nurse would later go on to lead the Canadian national team in a victory against Serbia, and would become a gold medalist before the age of 20, as reported by mytwintiers.com.
In her spare time, Nurse supports various humanitarian and charitable endeavors. Nurse has worked extensively with “Bikes for Kids” in Mansfield, Connecticut as well as the American Red Cross.
Additionally, “Nurse’s community involvement includes Foundation for Life “Bikes for Kids” (January 2015) in which she conducted a basketball clinic for high-achieving students in downtown Hartford, followed by donation of bicycles. She produced a Kindness Video (November ’15) for the students of Greene Hills Elementary School on the importance of being kind to one another, and she wore gold shoelaces for Go 4 the Goal Shoelaces (February 24, 2016) in a game vs. SMU to support awareness and research for childhood cancers,” reports seniorclassaward.com.