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WNBA

Kia Nurse talks about her television debut, the NCAA women's tournament, Canadian Bridget Carleton and the WNBA Draft

#Kia Nurse

Editor's note: Kia Nurse checks in with her blog for NBA.com talking about her experience working as an analyst at TSN for March Madness, watching the Women's NCAA tournament as a fan and the upcoming WNBA Draft.

On TSN TV experience

I loved it, I honestly was really thrown into the fire. I didn't really have a whole lot of practice before I got on there so it was a lot of fun to kind of just roll with the punches - be on live television, be with people who have done it so well before. Jack (Armstrong), Leo (Rautins), Kate (Beirness) and Derek Taylor were unreal - they were so helpful. They gave me tips before it even started and made sure that everything that I was going to answer was comfortable. They were very good at leading me into questions so that I knew it was coming to me or getting thrown to me and I was prepared for it. It was really fun - I think I only had to realize that I was talking basketball and that's something that I've done or I could do very easily so I just needed to have a conversation.

It was the research part that threw me off because the first weekend I knew I was on air for almost 14 hours and I knew that there were 64 teams and I was like 'how much research do I do? Do I figure out every single stat? Do I look at what stats I could compare them with across the nation's rankings?' It really turned into finding one or two players that were key for them. Finding out their tendencies, strengths and weaknesses and then putting that together in kind of a portfolio and having those notes available while I was on-air, so that I could go over them before or after information was coming up. It definitely was a great step in terms of there's a lot more to life than just basketball and there's going to be a lot more time when my career is done - and that's something that I wanted to at least shadow or see for a day. But to have been thrown into it as I was that's an even better experience and it was so much more exciting for me to see and I really enjoyed it and that's something for me to possibly go to when I'm done my career.

We're going to try and do quite a bit more with them - TSN. We had such great feedback from everybody who was watching, we had great feedback from the people within the company. The producers and everybody who was behind the scenes in the control room, they were so helpful and they were so great that I think I would love to continue to do stuff with them especially since I'm taking off-seasons here and there.

On watching college ball as a fan

For me having the whole TSN experience to kind of run through - it made me feel like I was still kind of it in because I was watching all these kids - some of them their career was over and it was disheartening to watch them cry on television because I know what that feels like.

Or what it felt like to be at Duke and be the number one overall seed. And then we got to see in Canada finally, they played the elite eight games - they played the UConn one which is really fun for me to be able to see my old teammates play and I think they did a great job this season just in terms of dealing with everything that was coming from the outside. I think obviously for the women's game, we're continuing to grow, we're continuing to find places where we could get better.

But when you're looking at it from the outside you see all the little things that coach used to harp on - that is what I think is so funny to me. I still feel for these teams when they win or they lose, I still get butterflies especially when I'm watching UConn. I know exactly how it feels to be in that position, I'm so proud of those girls and the success they had.

On the WNBA Draft

From our standpoint in terms of Canada, I haven't really heard a lot from the underclassman who are eligible for the draft and what they're decision will be.

Obviously for the ones that were in the final four it will be more difficult, like the Jackie Young's of the world I'm sure it was more challenging. For the ones who were done before, they had more of an opportunity to think it over with their families, coaches and have a conversation about it. The seniors generally obviously go into the draft which will be exciting because I'll actually be at the draft this year too.

For Bridget Carleton I spoke to her the other day - I think we're just really excited to see where she lands. Whether that be first round, second round - I don't think she'll fall into the third round, to be honest. I think the most important part about being in the draft is it's never really about what number you go. Everybody wants to talk about and harp on 'oh you're going to go first overall or second overall'.

We hear about it so much on the men's side, we hear about it a little bit less on the women's side, but when Stewie (Breanna Stewart), Moriah (Jefferson) and Morgan (Tuck) were coming out we kind of knew they were going to go one, two, three - and that was more talked about, but it's never about where you go it's about actually being drafted and being able to have the opportunity to be a part of the WNBA. It's one of the toughest leagues to make, there are only 144 spots. I think the craziest thing about our league is that a lot of the draft picks don't even make the league, that's how tough it is to make this league.

For us speaking as Canadians, Bridget had the best year you could ever possibly have. She was Big 12 player of the year, top five in so many categories. One of the all-time greatest players to wear an Iowa State uniform. I think that's going to be the reason why she gets drafted because she has a great draft stock right now and she's a great player. There's a lot that goes on - her and I talked about trying to find agents. The people I've talked to and what I knew in the industry in terms of what questions to ask and what not. That's kind of where I'm able to be a liaison for them. Just give the younger kids what my experience that I had was like.

Hopefully, all goes well for her and I'm looking forward to seeing where she goes - hopefully, to New York, I would be happy with that!

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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