South Carolina’s Dawn Staley Gave a Bold Prediction For Kamilla Cardoso in the WNBA

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday night, the nation’s biggest women’s college basketball stars came dressed to impress for one of the most highly anticipated WNBA draft days in recent history. So, too, did their coaches.

Fresh off an NCAA title win over the Iowa Hawkeyes, South Carolina Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley arrived in style to support center Kamilla Cardoso as the Brazilian native takes the next step of her budding career. Staley offered her star player a few words of wisdom and also snuck in a bold prediction for how Cardoso could dominate in the WNBA.

“The advice I would give Kamilla is: Stay locked in like she was at the Final Four,” Staley said. “I know she had a great career, a great three years at the University of South Carolina. But those last two games, she was not going to be denied. If she keeps that kind of approach, she’ll be hoisting not only a championship trophy but an MVP trophy.”

Cardoso is currently projected to be a top-five draft pick. The 6’7’’ center averaged 14.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks while shooting just under 60% in her senior season, and she played a monumental role during the Gamecocks’ undefeated 2023-24 campaign and NCAA championship run. 

In South Carolina’s 87—75 title win against Iowa, Cardoso shot 7-of-14 for 15 points and added 17 rebounds along with 3.0 blocks. 

Kristen Wong


Kristen Wong is a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. She has been a sports journalist since 2020. Before joining SI, Kristen covered four NFL teams as an associate editor with the FanSided NFL Network and worked as a staff writer for the brand’s flagship site. She has written about soccer, the NFL, NBA, and MLB since 2020, and outside of work, has dreams of running her own sporty dive bar.