Nursed back to health: Kia Nurse makes her return in Seattle

By Melanie Soverinsky, Seattle Storm PR

After taking the 2022 season off nursing an ACL injury brought on the previous year, WNBA vet Kia Nurse is eager to show Seattle what she’s capable of.

Nurse was drafted No. 10 overall by the Liberty in the 2018 WNBA Draft and went on to spend the next three seasons in New York before moving to play for Phoenix in 2021.

The 6-0 guard was thrilled to be back on the floor for Monday’s preseason showdown against contender and former team, The Phoenix Mercury.

“It was awesome to get back into it, it’s been a while since I’ve had a game,” Nurse said. “I love the Seattle fans and even when I played against them it was evident how much they love this team and value women’s basketball here. I’m excited to be in front of them and get the first one under our belt in Storm colors.”

Nurse appeared in all 34 games her rookie season with the Liberty (2018) and started in all 34 the following season (2019) and 18 in 2020. She was a key player on the Mercury’s 2021 roster before tearing her ACL in game four of the semifinals against The Las Vegas Aces.

The WNBA vet is taking preventative measures to ensure that she remains healthy as the 2023 regular season begins to heat up.

“This is just a different load than what my knee has seen in a little bit,” Nurse said. “It’s important that I continue to listen to my body. If there is an ache or a pain, I need to make sure that won’t be affecting anything that just got fixed.”

As a leader on one of the younger teams in the league, Nurse brings invaluable experience to a rookie heavy lineup.

Her versatility and past stints in a variety of positions on a number of teams has shaped her into the player she is and has prepared her to take on a larger role in a league as competitive as the WNBA.

“Kia’s been in the league for a while now and been around some good organizations,” Storm head coach Noelle Quinn said. “She has a high basketball IQ and is sharing that knowledge with younger players, and it’s been really great to watch. I want her to continue to improve on preparing to play big minutes. She hasn’t played in a while but day-by-day I see the progression in her basketball conditioning. I’m relying on her to bring it on both ends of the floor.”

Nurse comes from an impressively athletic family line. Her brother Darnell plays defense for the Edmonton Oilers and her older sister played basketball at Oregon and Bowling Green. Her father Richard played five seasons in the CFL for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and her mother played basketball at McMaster University. Kia’s uncle is former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, and her cousin Sarah Nurse is among the top women’s hockey players, helping Canada to silver and gold medals at the 2018 and 2022 Olympics, respectively.

Off the basketball court, Nurse looks forward to hiking in the Emerald City, especially after spending the past year in the desert. She enjoys spending time with her beloved German short haired pointer named Prim who also made the trip to the Pacific Northwest.

Be sure to keep an eye out for Nurse as she gears up for her fifth season in the pros.

“We’ll be young, we’ll be fast, but we’ll play hard, and that gives you an opportunity to win some games,” Nurse said.