Saturday, February 13, 2021

On the Beat With Kia Nurse of the Phoenix Mercury

The Phoenix Mercury held a press conference introducing newly acquired Kia Nurse. Yesterday, the Mercury sent its 2021 first-round pick (sixth overall) and 2022 first-round pick to the New York Liberty for Nurse and Megan Walker.

After an outstanding career at the University of Connecticut, Nurse was selected by the New York Liberty with the tenth pick in the first round of the 2018 WNBA draft. She has played 89 games, starting 59 over her three seasons. She has averaged 11.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 0.7 steals per game. She has shot 36.1% from the field, 30.2% from three-point land, and 86.9% from the free-throw line. She was named to the All-Star team in 2019.

Entering her fourth year in the WNBA,  Nurse is one of only eight WNBA players who has made 30 or more three-point shots in each of the last three seasons. Also, Nurse and Cynthia Cooper are the only players in the history of the league to make at least 30 three-point shots in each of her first three seasons while shooting 85 percent or better from the three-throw line. 

Nurse comes from an athletic family. Her father Richard played in the Canadian Football League and her mother Cathy was a basketball player at McMaster University. Her brother Darnell plays hockey for the Edmonton Oilers and her sister Tamika played college basketball. Her cousin Sarah played hockey for the University of Wisconsin and also Team Canada in the 2018 Olympics. Her uncle through marriage is former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb.

In the press session, Nurse talked about hearing some rumblings about the trade and having a bit of an idea something was happening. She said being in a sports family taught her a lot and prepared her for movement in sports. She was very positive about the Mercury, while also speaking of all the great moments and memories with the Liberty. She talked about looking forward to meeting and playing with her new teammates but also missing her old Liberty mates.

Nurse was extremely poised and upbeat in the press session. Clearly, she is a mature person on and off the court. She knows this is part of the game and she is simply going to make the most of her new opportunity.

For more info on Nurse, the Mercury and the WNBA, go to For more coverage of the WNBA, go to

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