The lineage of athletic success runs deep for Kia Nurse and her family.
Her father, Richard, played six seasons for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL; her brother, Darnell, was selected by the Edmonton Oilers with the seventh overall pick in June and is currently playing for Sault Ste. Marie in the Ontario Hockey League; her older sister, Tamika, played basketball at Oregon; her aunt, Raquel, played basketball at Syracuse and is married to former All-Pro quarterback Donovan McNabb.
Kia Nurse, a 6-0 guard from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, will look to further carve out her own niche over the next few years. She became the latest member of the Class of 2014 to commit to UConn Monday.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for her to come in there and learn from a great coaching staff and maximize her potential,’’ Richard Nurse said.
Nurse made an official visit to UConn earlier this month, attending the season opener against Hartford at the XL Center Nov. 9. She canceled her final two official visits to Tennessee and Kentucky before attending Sunday’s game between UConn and Penn State at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Nurse made her decision Monday morning, calling UConn coach Geno Auriemma later in the day. Penn State and Indiana were her other two finalists.
“I think it’s just the ability of UConn to help her maximize her potential,’’ Richard Nurse said. “I think at the end of the day you get an opportunity to play with the best of the best.’’
Richard Nurse said that Kia will be participating in an official signing event Tuesday at St. Thomas More High School at 3 p.m.
The Huskies have already received a signed National Letter of Intent from Sadie Edwards, a 5-foot-10 guard from Meriden, Courtney Ekmark, a 6-0 guard from Phoenix, and Gabby Williams, a 5-11 guard from Sparks Nev.
Nurse, a member of the Canadian National Team, finished third on the team in scoring (10.0), assists (2.5) and minutes played (24.0) and also averaged 2.0 rebounds over six games as Canada earned the silver medal at the FIBA Americas World Championship for Women in Xalapa, Mexico in September
Nurse led Canada in scoring (13.6; sixth overall) and minutes (27.8) and was second in assists (1.9) and steals (1.6) as the team earned the bronze medal at the 2012 FIBA U-17 World Championship. It marked the first time that a Canadian age-group women’s team won an international medal.
In going through the recruiting process, Nurse ultimately saw UConn as being the best fit for her.
“We believe so with their style of play and their commitment to excellence and their commitment to detail,’’ Richard Nurse said. “We think it’s a good fit.’’