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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

UConn's Nurse not only athlete in family

When UConn freshman sensation Kia Nurse heads home to Hamilton, Ontario for Christmas her home will be unusually quiet.

Normally there would be some time to reconnect with her older brother Darnell but he's going to be kind of busy preparing to play for Canada in the IIHF World Junior Championships.

Nurse, a first-round pick of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers in 2013, is expected to be one of the top defensemen for host Canada which opens up against Slovakia on Dec. 26 at Toronto's Bell Centre. One of the highlights of any World Junior event is the U.S./Canada showdown and that will occur on Dec. 31 in pool play.

"I called him and said 'OK, I won't see you at Christmas' but I am beyond excited for him he works his butt off," Kia Nurse said.

Darnell was not a part of the Canadian team which finished a disappointing fourth in the 2013 event and according to his sister, he learned from that experience.

"You try to push it aside but it is motivation just pushing to get better every day," Kia Nurse said. "I think now it is showing that he did that. We went and worked as hard as he could and now he is where he wants to be."

Nurse played two games for the Oilers before going back to Sault Ste. Marie in the Ontario Hockey League. He had six goals and 13 assists in 19 games in the OHL before heading to Canada's training camp.

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