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Kamilla Cardoso’s WNBA Debut: A Worthwhile Wait and Instant Impact

The third overall draft pick debuted Saturday after missing six games due to injury.

Kamilla Cardoso was considered one of the most pro-ready prospects going into the WNBA Draft in April. Fans of women's collegiate basketball knew of her special blend of skill, size, and defensive ability. Cardoso’s 6-foot-7 height stood out, and her talent on both ends of the court set her apart even more. During her time at South Carolina, she won All-American and Defensive Player of the Year honors, along with several SEC awards. She was also voted Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA tournament after helping the Gamecocks win their third national title.

But fans had to wait to see Cardoso play in the WNBA. She missed the first six games of the Chicago Sky's regular season due to a shoulder injury from the preseason. Excitement for her arrival only increased with her absence.

When she finally took the floor against the Indiana Fever, Cardoso showed why the Chicago Sky had selected her third overall. Although the Fever defeated the Sky by a tight score of 71–70, Cardoso's performance demonstrated her readiness for the WNBA. 

Cardoso was effective offensively, scoring 11 points and hitting five of seven shots in her 18 minutes off the bench – and a formidable force in the paint with six rebounds. Her defensive presence also carried over nicely into the WNBA, as she frequently faced off against former South Carolina teammate Aliyah Boston. Cardoso was a vital defensive anchor for the Sky: stopping opponents' shots, changing their strategies and grabbing rebounds. Throughout the game, she thwarted the Fever's offensive momentum and offered strong rim protection.

Teresa Weatherspoon, head coach of the Sky, said the team was excited to welcome Cardoso into their lineup. She also voiced confidence in Cardoso's skills, readiness, and injury recovery. "I'm on Kamilla's time," she said.

Cardoso’s debut against the Fever was more than just her first professional game; it was a declaration of her entrance into the WNBA. With continued growth and experience, she is expected to establish herself as a key player for the Sky, making a substantial impact on her team’s pursuit of league triumph.

The anticipation for Cardoso's debut was deserved, as she proved Saturday. Her instant influence on the floor confirmed her position as one of the WNBA's most exciting prospects. The Sky and their followers have a lot to look forward to from her budding career as she keeps evolving and growing.


Edited by Ella Chang

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