In just a few days the third largest multisport event in the world, the Pan Am Games will be taking place in the City of Toronto. The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games will host to more than 10,000 athletes and team officials from the Americas and the Caribbean, who will compete in 36 sports such as basketball, track and field and volleyball.
The Canadian contingent of athletes for the games this year is strong with around 700 of our nation’s fittest, fastest and strongest ready to compete and win. One such athlete who will be proudly competing on home turf is Kia Nurse, a Canadian National Basketball team athlete, who has been coined by the coach of Basketball Canada as The One.
Now, carrying around a nickname such as this can be daunting, but what’s even more astounding is that this lady is only 19 years-old, but don’t let her age fool you. She’s travelled the world, trained and competed with some of basketball’s finest players, and is the next generation of young female athletes leading the charge for sport in Canada. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise we’re very intrigued by this athletic star and want to know her secrets to life, happiness and success.
Astrological sign: Pisces
Tim Hortons or Starbucks: Tim Hortons
Game time or downtime: Game time
Michael Jordan or Michael Jackson: Michael Jordan
You’ll be representing Team Canada for women’s basketball during the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games. How does it feel to be playing in front of an international audience on home soil?
The team and myself are so excited to have the opportunity to play on home soil for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games. This is a very rare opportunity to have home court advantage and I am pumped to see the sea of red and white throughout the tournament. This is also the first time a lot of my family and friends, as well as Canada, will have the chance to see our national team play live which is very exciting.
You attend university in the U.S. and travel aboard for basketball games, which mean you’re away from home for long periods. What do you do to remedy feelings of homesickness?
FaceTime has definitely helped relieve some of my homesickness, but I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by such amazing people on both UConn and the national team. When you’re with such fun loving people it’s easy to not think about feeling homesick and just have a good time. My parents are also huge travellers and supporters of my siblings and I, so I get to see them a lot more often.
Going to school and playing sports at an elite level can, sometimes, be demanding and overwhelming. How do you deal with these types of pressures and the stress?
I’ve learned the importance of balance and time management. I am an avid To-do lister, you can find sticky notes on my computer or around my room with assignments and due dates so I know to stay on top of things. There is a time to think about basketball, a time to think about school and a time to relax¦ you just have to make sure you’re focused on the right activity at the right time.
Who is the one person, in your life, you always turn to for advice?
I would not be able to pick one specific person, but I can absolutely pick four; my mother, father, brother and sister. Each one of them has their own experiences and their own advice to give me. No matter what situation I am going through be it sports or life, one if not all of them have already overcome that obstacle, so I’m really lucky to have them.
Finish this sentence: I want women around the world to ___________.
Feel confident and powerful in everything they do.
What are three things in your wardrobe you cannot live without and why?
Anything Lululemon, my running shoes and jeans. I have a slight obsession with Lululemon clothing because I think it’s the comfiest thing in the world. My running shoes are essential because when I stop doing physical activity for a day or two I get bored and feel like I need to get up and do something. Jeans are what I usually throw on to go out.
If you could create a recipe for happiness, what would it contain and why?
My recipe would include: confidence, patience, laughter, adversity, dedication, teamwork, hard work, fun, good friends and family members. Confidence and patience are two things that really help boost your energy. Laughter is essential because it makes you smile. I’ll be the first person to laugh at myself for doing something silly. Adversity only makes you stronger. Dedication, hard work and teamwork are things I learned first-hand from my parents and the sport of basketball, and because of them I have met some of my favourite people on the planet. Lastly, happiness is more fun to share with the people you love!
Name one famous person (celebrity or historical figure) who you would like to play a game of one-on-one basketball with?
Well, if it doesn’t have to be an athlete Beyoncé© is my number one pick. I just adore her! If it was an athlete I’d love to play LeBron James, so I could meet him!