UConn going hard after Canadian national team guard
Considering that the Huskies only incoming recruit is guard Saniya Chong, the belief was that the Huskies would bring in one or two post players. However, other than South Carolina phenom A'ja Wilson, it looks like the Huskies aren't involved with any other frontcourt players in the Class of 2014. Of course, the Huskies did pretty well for themselves when a 6-foot Maya Moore played the power forward position so perhaps 6-footers Gabby Williams and Courtney Ekmark could be used in a similar fashion. Plus, there aren't going to be too many people to feel sorry for the Huskies next year when they have the services of Breanna Stewart, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Morgan Tuck and Kiah Stokes to play the forward positions.
At the current time UConn has commitments from Ekmark, Williams and Meriden native Sadie Edwards, all perimeter players and other than Wilson, the only other player I can confirm is actively being pursued by UConn in the Class of 2014 is Canadian national team guard Kia Nurse.
UConn went to Hamilton, Ontario for a recent home visit with Nurse. Then the day after UConn coach Geno Auriemma was in Indianapolis for the women's basketball summit, which resulted in multiple recommendations for improving the women's game, he was en route to Mexico to see Nurse play in the FIBA Americas Championship for Women so I guess it is safe to say that the Huskies are interested in Nurse who is listed anywhere from 5-9 to 6-feet.
Nurse is certainly proving to be worth the trip for Auiremma as she is the second-leading scorer for a Canadian team which won Group A with a 4-0 record to earn the top seed out of that pool for tomorrow's semifinals.
Nurse scored in double digits in the three three games of pool play including recording 13 points, four rebounds, three assists and one steal in a 53-40 win over previously undefeated Cuba on Wednesday.
Playing on a team including Notre Dame All-American candidate Natalie Achonwa, former Vermont star Courtney Pilypatis and Canadian national team veterans Krista Phillips and Shonna Thornburn, Nurse is averaging 10.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
Nurse is no stranger to representing Canada in international competitions. She averaged 14.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 3.2 steals at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championships, put up 13.6 points and 3.8 rebounds in the 2012 FIBA U17 Championship for Women (including scoring eight points and adding six rebounds, two assists and a steals in an 86-47 loss to the U.S.) and has been with the Senior National Team this season during the European tour, Four-Nation event in China and Super Four International Tournament.
As for the recruiting process, a Swish Appeal story said that UConn, Kentucky, Indiana, Penn State and Tennessee are the final finalists and she will go through the process of taking official visits although her father Richard (a former CFL player) said it is not guaranteed that she will take all five of her visits before making her decision.
Richard is far from the only gifted athlete in the Nurse home. Kia's brother Darnell was taken by the Edmonton Oilers with the seventh overall pick in the 2013 NHL draft while her uncle is former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb.
While I haven't heard of a date for a visit yet for Nurse, I don't think Auriemma headed down to Mexico if he wasn't planning to have her come in for an official visit. Typically the weekend of First Night is the preferred slot for high-profile recruits to make their way to Storrs and I hope to have more information on Nurse's intentions in near future.
One last note on recruiting, Ekmark and Wilson are scheduled to play in the inaugural Full Court Fresh 50 Invitational on Sunday at Westlake High in Atlanta.
Labels: Kia Nurse