UConn fans tend to remember everything, more than their women’s beatwriter does. So if I bring you back to the 2008-10 era and the two games the Huskies played against Vermont you’ll likely recall their fabulous backcourt of May Kotsopoulos and Courtnay Pilypaitis.
Pilypaitis is now an assistant coach at Vermont – when she’s not playing for Canada’s senior national team.
And in Canada is where Courtnay Pilypaitis is a teammate of UConn’s newest recruit, guard Kia Nurse, on course to be the point guard on Canada’s next three (of four) Olympic teams.
Here is what Courtnay told me today about Nurse: You are not going to believe this:
“Kia as a basketball player is phenomenal. She works incredibly hard to be the best she can be, she can do everything on the court. She obviously has great athleticism that helps her go by defenders, but she can also shoot the ball well, and make passes to open teammates.
“Her biggest asset on the court is her defense, she prides herself on being able to lock down the other teams best player. She moves her feet extremely well, and is someone who can pressure without fouling. She makes it easier for her teammates to play behind her on defense, because of the pressure she creates for the ball handler.
The thing that has made Kia into the player she is now, and who she will become is her toughness! I’ve never meet a tougher 17-year-old. Having to play against women who are twice her age, she was never intimidated or worried about the opponents. I watched her go against Euroleague All-Stars, and repeatedly frustrate them on defense or attack them on offense. She really has NO FEAR!
“She is so competitive in everything she does, that she will not let her or her teams lose. She would run through a brick wall to get a loose ball, or chase someone off a screen. She is not afraid to mix it up against bigger players and will out tough anyone she plays against. There are not many times when Kia does not come out on top, and that is because she works incredibly hard and does whatever she can to make sure that her or her team does not come out on the losing end.
As aggressive as Kia is on the court, you could not ask for a better person off the court. She is one of the nicest people you will meet. She will do anything for her teammates, and always bring a smile or laugh to the team she plays on. She has a very bubbly personality and will never turn down an invitation to participate in a song or dance to help lighten the mood. Kia is very mature for her age, and has learned from her siblings how to be a good role model for younger generations. Kia does not care about her stats, or how others view her, she is down to earth and wants whatever is best for the team.”