Kia Nurse

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Kia Nurse
Kia Nurse in action.jpg
No. 5 – New York Liberty
PositionPoint guard
Personal information
Born (1996-02-22) February 22, 1996 (age 23)
Hamilton, Ontario
Listed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Listed weight150 lb (68 kg)
Career information
High schoolSt. Thomas More
(Hamilton, Ontario)
CollegeUConn (2014–2018)
WNBA draft2018 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10th overall
Selected by the New York Liberty
Playing career2018–present
Career history
2018–presentNew York Liberty
2018–2019Canberra Capitals
Career highlights and awards

Kia Nurse (born February 22, 1996) is a Canadian basketball player for the New York Liberty of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She was drafted 10th overall by the New York Liberty in the 2018 WNBA Draft. Nurse played shooting guard for the UConn women's basketball team, and won back to back national championships in 2015 and 2016. She is also a member of the Canadian national team, for which she participated at the 2014 FIBA World Championship and won a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games.[1][2] She also won the MVP of the 2015 FIBA Americas Women's Championship, and was part of the Canberra Capitals side that won the 2019 Women's National Basketball League championship.

Early years[edit]

Nurse began playing basketball at the age of four, and by the time she was seven years old, she was playing in a competitive league.[3]

Nurse played basketball while attending St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School in Hamilton, Ontario. During her playing career, she helped the team win three consecutive OFSAA high school championships in 2011, 2012 and 2013. She played for a club team called Hamilton Transway which won seven consecutive provincial championships.

While still in high school, she was invited to the training camp for Canada's national team. She was invited mainly "for the experience", planning for the future of the team, but she played well enough to earn a spot on the roster.[citation needed]

Approximately 50 colleges and universities contacted Nurse to ask her to consider playing for their team.[citation needed] She initially narrowed down the list to four teams, Connecticut, Penn State, Indiana and Kentucky, but eventually chose Connecticut. After signing her letter of intent, she revealed that she had recorded a goal playing for Connecticut while still a seventh grader.[citation needed]

Connecticut statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Year[4] Team GP Points FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG PPG
2014–15 Connecticut 39 399 48.6 40.8 72.2 3.1 2.8 1.4 10.2
2015–16 Connecticut 38 354 44.3 37.0 75.4 1.9 2.7 1.3 9.3
2016–17 Connecticut 33 420 48.1% 46.2% 85.5% 2.1 3.9 1.0 12.7
2017–18 Connecticut 37 501 51.9% 44.3% 81.0% 3.5 2.8 1.3 13.5
Career 147 1674 48.4% 42.4% 78.4% 2.7 3.0 1.3 11.4


At the conclusion of her senior year, Nurse was selected 10th overall by the New York Liberty at the WNBA draft on April 12, 2018.[5] She made her WNBA debut on May 20, 2018, scoring 17 points in an eventual 80–76 loss to the Chicago Sky.[6] In June 2018, Nurse scored 34 points, a season-high amongst WNBA rookies, in the Liberty's 87–81 overtime victory over the Indiana Fever.[7]


Nurse was invited to play on the under-17 national team in the FIBA Under-17 World Championship for Women, held in Amsterdam in 2012. She averaged almost 14 points per game, and helped the team to a third place finish.[8][9]

She was invited to join the national team, to play in the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship for Women, held in Xalapa, Mexico from September 21–28, 2013. She averaged ten points per game, and helped the Canadian National team to a second place, silver medal finish. Canada faced Cuba in a preliminary round and won 53–40, but in the championship game, Cuba prevailed 79–71.[10][11]

Nurse played on the Canadian national team in the 2014 FIBA World Championship. The team lost to Australia in the quarterfinals, then beat France and China to finish in fifth place.[12] Nurse averaged almost 22 minutes per game at the point guard position, averaging almost seven points per games, fourth most on the roster, while being the youngest player on the roster.[13]

Pan Am Games 2015[edit]

Nurse was a member of the Canada women's national basketball team which participated in basketball at the 2015 Pan American Games held in Toronto, Ontario July 10 to 26, 2015. Canada opened the preliminary rounds with an easy 101–38 win over Venezuela. The following day they beat Argentina 73–58. The final preliminary game was against Cuba; both teams were 2–0, so the winner would win the group. The game went down to the wire with Canada eking out a 71–68 win.[14] Canada would face Brazil in the semifinal.

Everything seemed to go right in the semifinal game. Canada opened the game with an 11–2 run on seven consecutive points by Miranda Ayim. Miah-Marie Langlois contributed five assists. In the third quarter Canada strongly out rebounded Brazil and hit 69% of their field goals to score 33 points in the quarter. Lizanne Murphy and Nirra Fields hit three-pointers to help extend the lead to 68–39 at the end of three quarters. Canada continued to dominate in the fourth quarter with three-pointers by Nurse and Kim Gaucher. Canada went on to win the game 91–63 to earn a spot in the gold-medal game against the USA.[15]

The gold-medal game matched up the host team Canada against USA, in a sold out arena dominated by fans in red and white and waving the Canadian flag. The Canadian team, arm in arm, sang Oh Canada as the respective national anthems were played.

After trading baskets early the US edged out to a double-digit lead in the second quarter. However the Canadians, spurred on by the home crowd cheering, fought back and tied up the game at halftime. In the third quarter, it was Canada's time to shine as they outscore the US 26–15. The lead would reach as high as 18 points. The USA would fight back, but not all the way and Canada won the game and the gold-medal 81–73. It was Canada's first gold-medal in basketball in the Pan Am games. Nurse was the star for Canada with 33 points, hitting 11 of her 12 free-throw attempts and 10 of her 17 field-goal attempts including two of three three-pointers.[16][17][18][19] Her performance led to her selection as the flag-bearer in the event's closing ceremonies.[20]

FIBA Americas Women's Championship 2015[edit]

Nurse played for Canada at the 2015 FIBA Americas Women's Championship, a qualifying event used to determine invitations to the 2016 Olympics. The games were held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in August 2015. Canada was assigned to Group A and played Puerto Rico, Chile, the Dominican Republic and Cuba in the preliminary rounds. Canada won the first three games easily with a 94–57 win over Puerto Rico is the closest match. The final preliminary round game was against undefeated Cuba, a team Canada had faced in the Pan Am games. Cuba played well in that event and was expected to challenge Canada. However, Canada defeated Cuba 92–43 to win first place in the group for a spot in the semifinal against the second-place team in group B, Brazil. Nurse was the leading scorer for Canada with 14 points in the game.[21]

The semifinal game against Brazil was much closer. Canada led by only six points at halftime but gradually expanded the lead to end up with an 83–66 win, and a spot in the gold-medal game.[22] With teammate Shona Thorburn sidelined with an injury, Nurse played 35 minutes, the most of any player on the team. The gold-medal game was a rematch with Cuba who won their semifinal game against Argentina. Despite the lopsided result in the preliminary rounds, Canada expected a closer game. Cuba started off strong and had an eight point lead early in the game. Canada responded with a 16–0 run to take over the lead, but Cuba responded and took a small lead early in the second half. Then Canada took the lead back and gradually expanded the lead to end up with the win, 82–66. As the game wound down to the close, the crowd was chanting "Rio","Rio","Rio" in recognition of the fact that the win qualifies Canada for the Olympics in Rio in 2016. Nurse was the leading scorer for Canada with 20 points, and her overall performance earned her the MVP award for the entire event.[23][24]

Personal life[edit]

Kia Nurse was born to Richard and Cathy Nurse and was raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Richard Nurse played in the CFL and Cathy Nurse was a basketball player at McMaster University in Canada.[25] Her older siblings are Tamika Nurse, who played basketball for Oregon and Bowling Green,[26] and professional hockey player Darnell Nurse. 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.[27] She is also the niece of former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb who is married to her aunt Raquel Nurse McNabb.[28][29]


  1. ^ "FIBA profile". Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  2. ^ Ewing, Lori. "Canada's women's basketball team beats U.S. for historic gold" (July 21, 2015). CBC Sports. The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on July 22, 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  3. ^ "Kia Nurse: Hamilton point guard taking talent to new heights". Toronto Star. October 3, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  4. ^ "NCAA Statistics". Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  5. ^ Feinberg, Doug (April 12, 2018). "Hamilton's Kia Nurse goes No. 10 to New York Liberty in WNBA draft". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  6. ^ "Nurse scores 17 in WNBA debut for Liberty". May 20, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  7. ^ "New York Liberty earn OT win behind 34 from Nurse (Highlights)". June 2, 2018. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  8. ^ "6 – Kia Nurse". FIBA. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  9. ^ "Full Schedule". FIBA. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  10. ^ "5 – Kia Nurse". FIBA. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  11. ^ "Full Schedule". FIBA. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  12. ^ "GAMES AND RESULTS". FIBA. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  13. ^ "STATISTICS". FIBA. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  14. ^ "2015 Women's Pan American Games Schedule". USA Basketball. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  16. ^ "U.S. Women Collect Silver At Pan American Games After Falling To Host Canada 81–73". USA Basketball. July 20, 2015. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  17. ^ "U.S. Women Collect Silver At Pan American Games After Falling To Host Canada 81–73". USA Basketball. July 20, 2015. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  18. ^ Caple, Jim. "Battle of UConn Hoops Stars Goes To Canada in Pan Am Final". ESPN. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  19. ^ Smith, Doug (July 20, 2015). "Canada wins historic Pan Am women's basketball gold". Toronto Star. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  20. ^ "Here's why you should get to know the Canadian women's basketball team – Chatelaine". Chatelaine. May 16, 2016. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  21. ^ "Schedulae and Results". Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  22. ^ "Schedule and Results". Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  23. ^ "Schedule and Results". Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  24. ^ "Canada is the 2015 FIBA Americas Women's Champion!". August 16, 2015. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  25. ^ MacLeod, Robert (May 17, 2013). "Hamilton teen is on the national basketball team fast track". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  26. ^ "Bowling Green State Athletics – Tamika Nurse – 2009–2010 Women's Basketball". Bowling Green State Athletics. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  27. ^ Spencer, Donna (February 12, 2018). "Sarah Nurse adds Olympic hockey to athletic family tree with spot on Canadian team". The Toronto Star. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  28. ^ Fuller, Jim (September 14, 2014). "Incoming freshman Kia Nurse gets some time with current, former Huskies". New Haven Register. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  29. ^ Altavilla, John (November 11, 2014). "Kia Nurse: Cool Canadian, No Wonder She's So Good". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved April 11, 2015.

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