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Pan Am newsmaker of the day: Kia Nurse

07/21/2015 12:26 EDT | Updated 07/20/2016 05:59 EDT
Kia Nurse, the youngest player on Canada's women's basketball team, put up 33 points to help clinch the squad's first ever Pan Am Games gold medal with a victory over the United States.

Nurse, 19, led the team in scoring from start to finish. Canada got off to a slow start, ending the first quarter down by 11 points, but by halftime the game was tied at 36 and Nurse had 17 points.

By the time it was over, Nurse had nearly doubled that total in an 81-73 Canadian victory.

Nurse has played on two other senior national teams. Her first experience came at the 2013 FIBA Americas Women's Championship. She got the invite to training camp as a way to gain experience, but instead she played well enough to crack the roster. Nurse averaged 10 points a game that tournament on the way to a silver medal. 

At the 2014 FIBA World Championship, Nurse was again the youngest member on Team Canada. She averaged 22 minutes and seven points per game as Canada finished fifth in the tournament.

During the year, Nurse plays for the University of Connecticut Huskies. As a freshman, she averaged 10 points a game as the team won its third straight NCAA title last season.

Nurse comes from a family of athletes. Her father played in the CFL, her mother played basketball at McMaster University, and her brother Darnell was a first-round draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 2013. Also, her uncle is former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Next up for Nurse and Team Canada, will be the 2015 FIBA America's Women's Championships. This will be the first chance for the team to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Once again, Canada will get to play in front of a home crowd, as the tournament will take place in Edmonton from August 8th to 16th.

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