NURSE – This international event was a huge step forward for the Canadians, despite the fact that the Canadian National Team battled late in their third-place game at FIBA and ultimately lost to the nation that was hosting the competition, Australia.
Since they won the Bronze at the 1986 World Championships, their best finish at the FIBA World Championships or the Olympics (when full international play was in effect) was fourth place.
Bridget Carleton, a veteran player with a lot of potential, was chosen for the first team of the tournament’s all-star team. The consistent pick and roll guard play displayed by Shay Colley and Nirra Fields was really impressive. Both the inside and the glass were under the authority of Kayla Alexander and Natalie Achonwa. Prospective student at the University of South Carolina Laeticia Amihere experienced shining examples of her burgeoning potential as a professional.
With seasoned players yet still room for growth, there is a lot to look forward to with this group! The return of Kia Nurse to competition was one of the things that fans were looking forward to the most. It was noticeable that Nurse was still getting her legs under her in the first few games, since she was coming in on a minutes restriction due to the fact that she had missed the previous WNBA season due to an ACL injury sustained during the 2021 W Semi-Finals.
However, during the course of her most recent five contests, Nurse posted an average of 13 points per game, including a shooting percentage of 45.8% from deep on an average of just under five attempts each game. She is such an exciting player at her stature since her patent shooting opens up her driving ability and secondary creation, and she was an All-Star with the Liberty in 2019.
She is too swift for bigger wings, too powerful for many guards, and is very skilled at utilizing her strength and balance to go to the line even when it appears that the basket is sealed off (she finished top ten in 2019 and 2020 in made and attempted free throws).
At the age of just 26, Nurse is on the cusp of entering her prime and exemplifies the star power that currently exists in Canadian basketball. It was amazing to see Serena back on the court, but it was even more lovely to see her get back into shape as the tournament progressed.
As an unrestricted free agent in the star-studded class of free agents that will be available in 2022, Nurse is a bit of a stealth candidate. I have no idea how to predict what a contract looks like for Nurse, nor do I know if she would even contemplate moving on from Phoenix, but given what she’s demonstrated in the past and the fact that she’s healthy again, it seems reasonable to assume that she would be open to exploring other options. This upcoming season has piqued my interest because of the potential contributions she may make to a variety of clubs on the wing.
During the meantime, you may watch Nurse on TSN broadcasts back in her home country of Canada during this NBA season! The Nathalie Cook Canadian Women in Sport Disruptor Award was given to Nurse in recognition of the work she has done in the media as well as the ongoing promotion of women’s sports, diversity, equity, and inclusion both on and off the court. Nurse is the first person to receive this award.
Cook is the former Vice President of TSN, and she was just just chosen as the Chair of Women and Sport in Canada’s Commercial Women’s Sports Advisory Group. Her responsibilities include providing ideas into the promotion, branding, and expansion of women’s sports.
This evening, at the annual 5 to Watch event hosted by George Brown College, which recognizes innovators and leaders in the sports industry in Canada, Nurse will be presented with an award.
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