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Kamilla Cardoso, South Carolina
Kamilla Cardoso earned the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament award this year, becoming the third South Carolina player to do so Via @GamecockWBB on X/Twitter

SEATTLE - Just days after playing the most important game of her life, Brazilian Kamilla Cardoso will hear her name called out during the WNBA's Draft, set to take place on April 15 in Brooklyn, New York.

Monday, April 7 is a date that will forever live in Cardoso's memory. It's the day when she became a two-time national champion after defeating Caitlin Clark's Iowa Hawkeyes in the most-watched women's basketball final in history.

But Cardoso can't spend too much time dwelling on the success from a week ago. The Brazilian is getting ready for this year's WNBA Draft, where ESPN's mock draft expects her to go third overall, just behind Clark at No.1 and Stanford's Cameron Brink at No.2.

The 6-foot-7 senior out of Montes Claros, Brazil, was one of the key members of s South Carolina team that went the entire season without a loss (37-0.) Cardoso almost averaged a double-double, accounting for 14 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, stats that earned her the WBCA Defensive Player of the Year award as well as a spot in the All-SEC first-team.

During the NCAA Tournament, the Brazilian center amassed a double-double in each round, including a big game in the final against Iowa with 15 points and a game-leading 17 rebounds, earning her the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament award.

Success didn't come easy for Cardoso: she had to leave her family behind as a 15-year-old to pursue her dream of playing high-level basketball in the United States. But her efforts have paid off tremendously, considering she has two national championships under her belt. Cardoso was part of the 2022 South Carolina team that finished the season winning their second-ever women's basketball championship.

Kamilla Cardoso's family surprising her during a South Carolina practice

The Brazilian has also been able to win silverware at the national team level. She's won three medals with the Brazilian national team during her young career, most recently a gold medal at the 2023 FIBA Women's AmeriCup, where she earned the title of tournament MVP after averaging 10.9 PPG and 8.3 RPG.

Kamilla Cardoso, Brazil
Kamilla Cardoso at the 2022 FIBA South American Women's Championship Via @GamecockWBB on X/Twitter

If Cardoso ends up being the third draft pick, she will join the Chicago Sky, who finished under .500 last season two years after winning the franchise's only WNBA title in 2021.

Cardoso will also become the 14th Brazilian to make it to the WNBA. Out of the previous 13, only Janeth Arcain and Érika de Souza have left a big mark by becoming WNBA champions. Arcain did it four times throughout her career, with her efforts leading her into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.

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