The best player on the No. 1 team in college basketball will take a short leave of absence from her squad to play for her country.
Kamilla Cardoso, the leading scorer and rebounder for top-ranked South Carolina, will miss the Gamecocks’ next two games so she can suit up for Brazil in this week’s Olympic qualifying event.
The 6-foot-7 Cardoso hails from Montes Claros, Brazil, and has averaged 13.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game for South Carolina this year.
South Carolina coach Dawn Staley confirmed Cardoso’s plans and voiced her support Sunday after the Gamecocks defeated Ole Miss 85-56 to improve to 21-0 (9-0 Southeastern Conference).
“We want the best players on our team, and sometimes the best players are the best players that represent another country,” Staley said. “When we recruited her, we said that if there’s an opportunity to go with your national team, go with your national team.”
Cardoso will miss a conference game against Missouri on Thursday and a nonconference showdown against No. 11 UConn on Sunday, both at home in Columbia, S.C.
Brazil is hosting a round-robin qualifying tournament in the city of Belem. The Brazilian team will play games against Germany, Serbia and Australia.
–Field Level Media
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