The New York Liberty selected Kia Nurse of Hamilton, Ontario with the 10th overall pick in the 2018 Women’s National Basketball Draft on Thursday. Nurse was one of three players from the University of Connecticut Huskies selected in the first round as she was joined by Gabby Williams of Sparks, Nevada, who was drafted fourth overall by the Chicago Sky and Azura Stevens of Raleigh, North Carolina who was drafted sixth overall by the Dallas Wings.
There was also a Canadian connection to the third overall pick in the WNBA Draft. The Sky selected Diamond DeShields, the daughter of former Montreal Expos second baseman Delino DeShields.
It should be noted that there was a Jordin Canada who was drafted fifth overall by the Seattle Storm. However Canada has no direct connections to Canada other than her last name as she is from Los Angeles, California.
There are three other Canadians currently playing in the WNBA. Natalie Achonwa of Toronto, Ontario is a power forward and center with the Indiana Fever, Kayla Alexander of Milton, Ontario is a center with the Indiana Fever and Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe of Toronto, Ontario is a power forward and center who also plays for the Liberty.
However Nurse has the potential to be better than all three Canadian players currently in the WNBA. Over the last few years she has been a difference maker not only for the University of Connecticut, but the Canadian national women’s basketball team as well. In her first two seasons with the Huskies she won a NCAA Championship. Then this past year she was the NCAA Defensive Player of the Year. While with the Canadian national team, she helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and reach the quarterfinals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.