Kia Nurse

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Kia Nurse
Kia Nurse in action.jpg
No. 5 – Phoenix Mercury
PositionPoint guard
Personal information
Born (1996-02-22) February 22, 1996 (age 25)
Hamilton, Ontario
Listed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Listed weight168 lb (76 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
20182020New York Liberty
2018–2020Canberra Capitals
2021–presentPhoenix Mercury
Career highlights and awards

Kia Nurse (born February 22, 1996) is a Canadian basketball player for the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She is also a basketball pundit featured on The Sports Network.

She played for the Canada Women's National Basketball team. She was selected to play in the 2020 Summer Olympics.[1]

Early years[edit]

Kia 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. Nurse attended St.Vincent de Paul Elementary School.

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 the Hamilton Transway Club team which won seven consecutive provincial championships.


Nurse played college basketball at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut for the Huskies.[2] In her time at UConn, Nurse played under head coach Geno Auriemma, alongside players such as Breanna Stewart, Gabby Williams and Napheesa Collier.

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 of playing for Connecticut when she was in Grade 7.[3]


2014–15 Connecticut 39 36 .485 .407 .721 3.1 2.7 1.4 0.1 1.5 10.2
2015–16 Connecticut 38 38 28.3 .442 .369 .753 1.9 2.7 1.3 0.1 1.3 9.3
2016–17 Connecticut 33 33 30.6 .480 .462 .855 2.0 3.8 1.0 0.1 1.5 12.7
2017–18 Connecticut 33 33 33.1 .519 .442 .809 3.5 2.7 1.2 0.3 1.2 13.5
Career 147 144 30.6 .483 .423 .784 2.6 3.0 1.2 0.1 1.4 11.4



At the 2018 WNBA Draft, Nurse was drafted by the New York Liberty in the first round, as the tenth overall pick.[4] Nurse would join the Liberty alongside players such as Tina Charles and Epiphanny Prince. Nurse made her WNBA debut on May 20, 2018, scoring 17 points in an eventual 80–76 loss to the Chicago Sky.[5] 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.[6]

In July 2019, Nurse was named as a starter for the WNBA All-Star Game for the first time in her career.[7] Her selection made her just the third Canadian to play in the All-Star Game. Nurse was selected by and joined Team Delle Donne for the game. Nurse also took part in the Three-Point Contest, but lost in the first round.

National Team[edit]

Youth Level[edit]

Kia 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]

Senior Level[edit]

Nurse 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] [12][13]

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.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16] Canada went on to defeat Brazil in the semifinal, 91–63.[17] In front of a home crowd, the Canadians were able to take down the United States 81–73 and take home the gold-medal. 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.[18][19][20][21] Her performance led to her selection as the flag-bearer in the event's closing ceremonies.[22]

Nurse played for Canada at the 2015 FIBA Americas Women's Championship, a qualifying event held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in August 2015. Canada won the first three games easily winning first place in the group for a spot in the semifinal against the second-place team in group B, Brazil. 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.[23] The gold-medal game was a rematch with Cuba where Canada took home 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.[24][25]

In 2016, Nurse made her Olympic debut for Team Canada at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.[26] Canada finished in seventh place.

Career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game  RPG  Rebounds per game
 APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
 TO  Turnovers per game  FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 Bold  Career high ° League leader


Regular season[edit]

2018 New York 34 7 22.8 .402 .294 .870 2.4 1.6 0.6 0.1 0.8 9.1
2019 New York 34 34 29.4 .393 .353 .872 2.5 2.3 0.7 0.1 1.6 13.7
Career 2 years, 1 team 68 41 26.1 .397 .329 .871 2.5 1.9 0.7 0.1 1.3 11.4

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.[27] Her older siblings are Tamika Nurse, who played basketball for Oregon and Bowling Green,[28] 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.[29] She is also the niece of former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb who is married to her aunt Raquel Nurse McNabb.[30][31]


  1. ^ "Canada's Tokyo 2020 women's basketball team announced". Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  2. ^ "Kia Nurse - Women's Basketball - University of Connecticut Athletics".
  3. ^ Radley, Scott (November 20, 2013). "Basketball: Nurse decided her future a long time ago". The Hamilton Spectator. ISSN 1189-9417. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Nurse scores 17 in WNBA debut for Liberty". May 20, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  6. ^ "New York Liberty earn OT win behind 34 from Nurse (Highlights)". June 2, 2018. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  7. ^ "Canada's Kia Nurse selected a starter for WNBA all-star game".
  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. ^ "FIBA profile". Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "GAMES AND RESULTS". FIBA. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  15. ^ "STATISTICS". FIBA. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  16. ^ "2015 Women's Pan American Games Schedule". USA Basketball. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  18. ^ "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.
  19. ^ "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.
  20. ^ Caple, Jim. "Battle of UConn Hoops Stars Goes To Canada in Pan Am Final". ESPN. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  21. ^ Smith, Doug (July 20, 2015). "Canada wins historic Pan Am women's basketball gold". Toronto Star. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  22. ^ "Here's why you should get to know the Canadian women's basketball team – Chatelaine". Chatelaine. May 16, 2016. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  23. ^ "Schedule and Results". Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  24. ^ "Schedule and Results". Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  25. ^ "Canada is the 2015 FIBA Americas Women's Champion!". August 16, 2015. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  27. ^ MacLeod, Robert (May 17, 2013). "Hamilton teen is on the national basketball team fast track". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  28. ^ "Bowling Green State Athletics – Tamika Nurse – 2009–2010 Women's Basketball". Bowling Green State Athletics. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ Fuller, Jim (September 14, 2014). "Incoming freshman Kia Nurse gets some time with current, former Huskies". New Haven Register. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  31. ^ Altavilla, John (November 11, 2014). "Kia Nurse: Cool Canadian, No Wonder She's So Good". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved April 11, 2015.

External links[edit]