The never-ending sports tour for the Nurse family – one of Canada’s most athletic and competitive clans – continues.
Kia Nurse, the sister of Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse, looks to up her bragging rights over her big bro by bringing home an Olympic medal from Rio de Janeiro as a member of Canada’s basketball team.
“Obviously we have the goal to go in there and get a medal,” she told Canada’s 570 News. “I think need to play really hard together and peak at the right time. So I see our success as playing our best basketball over the last four years at the Olympics.”
Kia’s one of the Great White North’s best basketball players and one of the best collegiate players in the United States. She helped guide the University of Connecticut’s storied women’s basketball team to NCAA championships last season and in 2015.
She was the Most Valuable Player at the 2015 FIBA Americas Women’s Championship. Richard Nurse describes his tough-as-nails point guard daughter’s game with an almost hockey reverence.
“Besides being extremely skilled, she’s a nasty piece of business,” he once told me.
Darnell is no slouch in the championship department. He was a major factor in Team Canada winning the Gold Medal in the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.
Kia and Darnell come from a highly athletic family. Father Richard Nurse was a wide receiver for the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats; his wife, Cathy, was a stellar basketball player for Canada’s McMaster University.
Their older daughter, Tamika, played basketball at the University of Oregon and Bowling Green State University. Richard Nurse’s brother, Roger, was a standout lacrosse player in Canada. Their sister, Raquel, was a Syracuse University hoops standout and is married to former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.
Sarah Nurse, daughter of Roger Nurse and cousin of Kia and Darnell, is a forward on the University of Wisconsin’s women’s hockey team that played in the 2016 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four tournament.