As the Chicago Sky make their selection in the 2024 WNBA Draft Monday, they welcome a new era with their No. 3 pick, Kamilla Cardoso, the dynamic 6-foot 7-inch center from South Carolina.

Born in Montes Claros, Brazil, Kamilla Cardoso's journey to the WNBA began across continents. Her high school years at Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tennessee, saw her average a staggering 24.1 points, 15.8 rebounds and an impressive 9.2 blocks per game (per Mike Curtis of A five-star recruit, Cardoso brought her talent to Syracuse, where she quickly made history as the ACC Freshman of the Year, before transferring to South Carolina to further sharpen her game under coach Dawn Staley.

The Gamecocks’ tower of power

South Carolina Gamecocks center Kamilla Cardoso (10) works the ball toward the basket against LSU Lady Tigers forward Angel Reese (10) during the second half.
© Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

At South Carolina, Cardoso embraced her role, both as a reserve to the esteemed Aliyah Boston and as a central figure in her own right. Her junior year statistics off the bench were impressive: Cardoso averaged 9.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. By her senior year, she became the focal point of the Gamecocks' offense, contributing to the Gamecock's 38-0 season and another national championship victory.

Cardoso's ability to read the game and make pivotal passes out of double teams, all while bolstering her team's defense, made her an invaluable asset. She closed her college chapter with a standout 14.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and two assists per game, setting personal bests across the board (h/t Joshua Hemphill of WIS 10).

One of the most memorable moments of this season and Cardoso's college career occurred in the SEC Semifinals against Tennessee. Trailing by two with just one second remaining, Cardoso hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to secure a 74-73 victory over the Lady Vols. Remarkably, this game-winning shot was also her first successful three-pointer.

After an impressive tournament performance, averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds, Cardoso was honored as the NCAA basketball tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Her standout performance included a commanding 15 points and 17 rebounds in her team's 2024 national championship victory against Caitlin Clark and Iowa.

Cardoso has received several accolades during her collegiate career. She was honored with the SEC’s Sixth Woman of the Year Award. In 2024, Cardoso found herself in the running for the Naismith Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Awards.

A sky-high future with Chicago

South Carolina Gamecocks center Kamilla Cardoso (10) and guard Te-Hina Paopao (0) react on the bench against the NC State Wolfpack in the semifinals of the Final Four of the womens 2024 NCAA Tournament at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

As Cardoso dons the Chicago Sky jersey, expectations are set for a transformative impact. With her extraordinary talent and size, the Sky are gaining more than just a player; they're investing in a future where Cardoso's defensive prowess and offensive versatility are anticipated to flourish at the professional level. Cardoso's skills in the paint and her ability to adapt and grow suggest that her transition to the WNBA will be as seamless as it is exciting.

The Sky's selection of Kamilla Cardoso isn't just about securing a formidable player — it's about embracing a vision for the future. As a testament to her influence, Cardoso skipped the WNBA Draft orientation to celebrate her college team's championship in a decision that highlights her commitment to her teammates and the values she'll bring to the Sky.

Cardoso is set to make a significant splash in the WNBA, inspiring fans and teammates alike. The Sky, with Cardoso at the forefront, are not just looking forward to a season of great basketball but are ready to redefine what success looks like in the league.