Kia Nurse selected 10th overall in the 2018 WNBA Draft by New York Liberty

Kia Nurse (Wikimedia Commons)

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. 

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One thought on “Kia Nurse selected 10th overall in the 2018 WNBA Draft by New York Liberty”

  1. Congratulations to Kia Nurse. She is a very talented, very hardworking Canadian baller of whom we are very proud. I wish to comment on your reference to other Canadian women playing in the WNBA. They share Kia’s attributes. Natalie Achonwa has come back from a horrible injury through persistence and courage. My own daughter Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe managed to attract the attention of the WNBA’s New York Liberty without the advantage of playing in a major NCAA school. These women are Canadian teammates who, with any luck, will be playing side by side either in the WNBA, at the FIBA World Cup in Tenerife, Spain in September 2018 and at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Your prediction that Kia might outstrip the other athletes might well prove to be bang on. However divisiveness is not what we need here. There is a saying “Men get paid to play and women pay to play.” There is a sad but deeply embedded gender bias in athletics. These women are dedicating their lives to the game they love. They make huge sacrifices in their personal lives for humble financial gain . Let’s support them all. I give them all their due and wish them health, fun and athletic success over the next 4-5 years. Denny Raincock (Nayo’s mum)

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