Kamilla Cardoso going from national champion to top WNBA Draft selection in whirlwind week: 'Just so excited'

Kamilla Cardoso going from national champion to top WNBA Draft selection in whirlwind week: ‘Just so excited’

طوبیٰ Tooba 3 months ago 0 1

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Kamilla Cardoso is living the dream.

Within an eight-day span, the South Carolina star will have won a national championship, in by far the most-watched college basketball game ever, and have been drafted into the WNBA.

It may be overwhelming for Cardoso, especially considering after downing No. 1 Iowa and Caitlin Clark to win the title and complete their undefeated season, the party had already started back on campus.


Kamilla Cardoso at Raising Cane's

Kamilla Cardoso attends as South Carolina women’s basketball stars Cardoso and MiLaysia Fulwiley post up at Raising Cane’s following their undefeated season on April 10, 2024 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Derek White/Getty Image for Raising Cane’s)

Cardoso said fans were lined up to greet the lady Gamecocks when they landed back in South Carolina.

“It was amazing. We got back to campus, there was a lot of people here, just whole bunch of celebrations. It was really exciting,” she told Fox News Digital in a recent interview.

One of many celebrations occurred on Wednesday, when Cardoso and teammate MiLaysia Fulwiley traveled to a local Raising Cane’s and worked a shift to serve some of their famous chicken tenders.

“I’m having so much fun here. There’s a lot of people here, I’m excited to serve them, and it’s the right thing to help,” Cardoso said mid-shift.


Kamilla Cardoso and MiLaysia Fulwiley at Raising Canes

Kamilla Cardoso, left, and MiLaysia Fulwiley attend as the South Carolina women’s basketball stars post up at Raising Cane’s following undefeated season on April 10, 2024 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Derek White/Getty Images for Raising Cane’s)

Iowa got off to a hot start, as the NCAA’s all-time scorer dropped 18 points in the first quarter while the Hawkeyes jumped out to an early 11-point lead.

However, that was South Carolina’s largest deficit of the game – and from that point on, they outscored Iowa, 80-57. Clark wound up scoring 12 more points in the rest of the contest.

“I think the biggest thing for us was staying poised, we knew we could play no matter what the score was, we knew we were able to come back,” Cardoso said. “We were built all season long for moments like this. We were excited to be out there. Offense and defense were just having fun and enjoying the moment.

“We know [Clark’s] an amazing player, we knew she was gonna drop points regardless, so just play the best defense we could and try to stop her.”

The celebrations for the national championship are now coinciding with the celebrations that will come Monday night, when she is drafted into the WNBA. She said she has seen mock drafts that have plugged her to go to either the Los Angeles Sparks at picks two or four, or the Chicago Sky at three.

Admittedly, it is a bit overwhelming, but it is certainly a good problem to have. 

Kamilla Cardoso

South Carolina center Kamilla Cardoso greets fans during an NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship celebration at Colonial Life Arena on April 8, 2024 in Columbia, South Carolina. The South Carolina Gamecocks defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 87-75 to cap a perfect season. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)


“I’m just trying to stay focused. I have a lot of celebrations, but I have a lot of meetings with WNBA coaches and staff,” says Cardoso. “I’m just trying to manage the time where I can have fun and celebrate with my teammates, and also focus on the WNBA. I leave on Saturday for the Draft, I go to New York, and I’m just so excited.”

The Brazilian native averaged 14.4 points and 9.0 rebounds this past season. She dropped 15 and 17 against Iowa en route to the title.

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