Canadian freshman Kia Nurse helped the University of Connecticut Huskies to their third straight national title on Tuesday night.
In a rematch of last year’s final, the Huskies defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 63-53. The win gives UConn coach Geno Auriemma a record 10th national title, tying him with UCLA legend John Wooden for the most titles in college basketball history.
Nurse, the 6-foot starting point guard, had nine points and three rebounds to go along with one steal in 28 minutes of play. The title adds to her already impressive resume.
After winning three straight OFSAA championships, Nurse was invited to the Canadian National team’s training camp as a high schooler. Still only 19 years old, she has already been a part of the silver medalist Canadian team at the 2013 FIBA Americas tournament and she was a regular on the 2014 FIBA World Championship team that had a historic fifth place finish.
Nurse will likely play a key role for Team Canada at the 2015 FIBA Americas, which will be hosted in Edmonton this summer. If the women are successful in booking their ticket for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Nurse will be counted on as a leader on that team.
It has long been Kia’s dream to play in the Olympics. Her father Richard told the Globe and Mail: “She wanted to become an Olympian, so she chose UConn. They create Olympians there.”
Kia comes from a family of impressive athletes. Her father Richard was a wide received in the CFL and her mother Cathy played basketball for McMaster University. Kia’s brother Darnell Nurse is a prospect of the Edmonton Oilers and was a key part of Canada’s gold medal-winning 2015 World Junior team. Her sister Tamika played NCAA basketball for Oregon and Bowling Green. Kia is also the niece of former NFL superstar quarterback Donovan McNabb.