New York Liberty All-Star Kia Nurse is helping Australia recover from its devastating bushfires in her own unique way.
Kia Nurse is using her scoring abilities to provide hope and relief in her second basketball home.
The New York Liberty guard announced a new endeavor of aid over social media as she competes in Australia’s Women’s National Basketball League. Australia is being ravaged by devastating bushfires that have destroyed over 12 million acres of land.
Nurse will be doing her part to help those affected. She announced that she will be donating $5 for every point her WNBL team, the University of Canberra Capitals, scores over their next five games. Teammate and team captain Kelsey Griffin will join Nurse in the cause.
The donations will be evenly split between the Australian branch of the Salvation Army and the New South Wales Rural Fire Service. Nurse’s cause begins shortly after the Capitals canceled a Sunday home game due to smoke accumulation. They will return to action and start racking up the points on Jan. 10 against the Townsville Fire.
“My heart sinks every time I see the news about the devastation the fires have caused. I can’t even begin to imagine what’s it’s like for those evacuating leaving everything they have behind,” Nurse said on the Capitals’ official website. “Australia has been so good to me for the last 2 years. I have been in awe that I’m fortunate enough to get to live and explore such a beautiful country. I have made lifelong friends and relationships and grown so much as a person.”
Nurse has played WNBA offseasons with the Capitals since 2018. She helped guide the team to their eighth WNBL championship (and first since 2010) last season. Nurse and Griffin currently lead the team with respective scoring averages of 20.1 and 16.6.
Griffin originally wanted to keep things quiet, but praised Nurse’s social media announcement for its ability to spread awareness toward relief causes.
“I didn’t really want it to be tweeted,” Griffin said. “But then (I) thought about the awareness and initiative Kia’s tweet, along with others, have brought to the crisis that is the bushfires and the aide needed.”
“As a basketball player, I was always told to ‘control the controllable.’ The aspects of the game and life that I could control is all I ever needed to worry about. Finding a way to support those in need during the darkest of times is controllable,” Nurse elaborated. “I’m hoping this brings some awareness to the cause in both my home county Canada and where I play most of my basketball career in (the) USA.”
Nurse is set to enter her third season with the Liberty come the 2020 WNBA season.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490