Kia Nurse

The Hamilton Spectator - - ROAD TO RIO 2016 -

TEAM: Bas­ket­ball PO­SI­TION: Guard BORN: Feb. 22, 1996 SCHOOL: St. Thomas More High School; Univer­sity of Con­necti­cut

AL­THOUGH SHE’S THE youngest mem­ber of the Cana­dian women’s bas­ket­ball team, Nurse has made a huge im­pact on the national pro­gram.

In 2012 she cap­tained Canada’s team to a bronze medal at the u-17 world cham­pi­onship and the next year made the se­nior team, help­ing them to a berth in the 2014 world cham­pi­onships where they fin­ished fifth, Canada’s best re­sult in 28 years.

Her 33 points against the heav­ily favoured U.S. when Canada won the gold medal at last sum­mer’s Pan Am Games is the stuff of le­gend and led to the Cana­dian Olympic Com­mit­tee nam­ing her as flag bearer for the clos­ing cer­e­monies.

Last Au­gust, she av­er­aged 13 points per game in the FIBA Amer­i­cas Olympic qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment, where Canada se­cured a berth for Rio nearly a year be­fore the Games.

Nurse is from a prom­i­nent Hamil­ton ath­letic fam­ily.

Her fa­ther Richard played for the Tiger-Cats and her mother Kathy played bas­ket­ball at McMaster. Her older brother Darnell plays for the NHL’S Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers and her older sis­ter Tamika was on the ju­nior national team and played at the Univer­sity of Ore­gon.

Nurse led St. Thomas More to three pro­vin­cial bas­ket­ball ti­tles and her UConn team has won the NCAA ti­tle in both of her two years there.

“We won’t be shy to tell you the goal is to come home with a medal,” Nurse says of the Rio Games. “We un­der­stand we have to peak at the right time, but we have the po­ten­tial, and the sky’s the limit.”

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