22 - 30
September 2018
5 Kia Nurse (CAN)
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Canada's Nurse: ''In the World Cup, the physicality is different than in the WNBA or other leagues''

TENERIFE (FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2018) - Kia Nurse may only be 22, but she's already a star in the women's game. This much was evident in the first half of Canada's 82-63 win over Korea on Sunday.

Nurse had 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting to help her team take a commanding 45-24 halftime lead. She was 5-of-7 from three-point range, including this four-point play. 

While she did cool off in the second half, the 6ft (1.82m) guard finished with a game-high 29 points and did her part in helping Lisa Thomaidis' side improve to 2-0, bringing them a step closer to reaching the Quarter-Finals.

In Tenerife, Nurse is already lining out at her second Women's World Cup, having made her debut in the competition as an 18-year-old in Turkey four years ago.


She spoke to FIBA.basketball about her first-half shooting display against Korea, the team's  performances through the first two games, her personal growth and Canada's ambitions in Tenerife. 

You were unstoppable in the first half against Korea. Can you tell us about that shooting display and your state of mind.
I worked a lot on my three-pointer and my game to make it more difficult for defenders to guard me. Today I got some really good screens from my teammates and they found me when I had a lot of space so that was helpful. My teammates are pretty incredible. They remind me each and every day to keep shooting, keep letting it fly. Then when I have enough space and time it's usually more accurate for me and they do a great job of trying to find ways to allow me to do that. 

What are your impressions on the first two games and how you've performed as a team?
I think for us, coming out of the quick turnaround that we had from last night (80-51 win over Greece) to this morning, we came out with the right energy and the right intensity and a focus that allowed us to get out early in transition and score a lot of points and defensively be disruptive.

The game against Greece was good for us. It's always tough to win the first game at a tournament like this. We came out with a lot of energy and passion. We played well together. Greece did a good job of using their body and physicality to their advantage. In FIBA tournaments, the physicality of the game is going to be a bit different than what you see in the WNBA or in other leagues.

For us this is one step on the way of reaching our goal to get to that Quarter-Final spot and France is always a tough challenge so it will really be a good game on Tuesday.


You've been a regular fixture for Canada dating back to 2011. Can you take us through your evolution and growth, especially since playing at your first World Cup in 2014.
I feel very different in the player I am. I think it's been a combination of being at the World Cup (in 2014 in Turkey) and then going back to college, going to the WNBA and then coming back again (to the national team) and understanding that, in order for me to be successful at an international level against some of the elite players we have here and the best in the world, it's about becoming a complete player. So when I was at the World Cup in Turkey, I was probably more of a driver, going to the basket a lot more. Now I think in my time at college I've developed my three-point shot, my pull-up (shot), trying to measure up my game with everyone else's especially on the offensive side and understanding that I still need to be a defensive stopper against some of the top guards.

Canada, the two-time reigning Americas champions, has become a team to be reckoned.
Yes we've definitely been on the rise for the past few years. This group and our team generally has a core which is 6-7 players. For us it’s great that we have that familiarity because we only get to meet for three months out of the year within the summer time.

What we're so fortunate to have is a bunch of three-point shooters on our team who, on any given day, someone can come out and score 30. I think that's something that's really special about our team and makes us difficult to guard.

What expectations have you set as a team at this World Cup?
For us it's one game at a time but right now Quarter-Finals is where we tend to get stumped (at world events) so we want to win a Quarter-Final game at a major international tournament to get to that next step towards a podium.