Kia Nurse to Speak at 22nd annual ZLC Thunderbird Scholarship Breakfast

WNBA Superstar. Canadian Women's National Team Member. Olympian. Jordan Brand athlete. Role Model. Sports Broadcaster. Just a few ways you might describe Kia Nurse.
January 13, 2021

Vancouver, British Columbia - WNBA Superstar. Canadian Women's National Team Member. Olympian. Jordan Brand athlete. Role Model. Sports Broadcaster. Just a few ways you might describe Kia Nurse, who will be coming to Vancouver (Virtually) to speak at the ZLC Thunderbird Scholarship breakfast. Joining Kia is UBC Alum and current Toronto Raptors Assistant Coach, Jama Mahlalela. While naturally the event will look very different than years past, the two Keynote Speakers this year will surely make up the difference.


With the 22nd annual ZLC Thunderbird Scholarship Breakfast just over two months away, UBC Athletics is proud to announce the virtual event will boast a pair of very special guests. The 2021 fundraiser will feature an in-depth conversation between WNBA superstar Kia Nurse and Toronto Raptors assistant coach Jama Mahlalela.

Set to be held virtually for the first time in its history on February 23, 2021, the ZLC Thunderbird Scholarship Breakfast serves as the largest annual fundraiser for UBC's varsity programs, generating over $13 million to date in support of student-athletes.

Celebrating an illustrious history of speakers at this event, we continue that legacy in 2021 with two of Canada's most captivating sports personalities with Jama Mahlalela and Kia Nurse.

A two-time NCAA women's basketball champion with the University of Connecticut, Kia Nurse was selected in the first round, tenth overall, by the New York Liberty in the 2018 WNBA draft.

In just her second professional season, Nurse appeared in the 2019 WNBA All-Star Game. The point guard from Hamilton, Ontario is also a two-time Australian league champion where she plays with the Canberra Capitals in the WNBA off-season where she was named the 2020 WNBL MVP.

Nurse is also no stranger to donning the maple leaf, having represented Canada on many occasions on the international stage. Nurse and team Canada defeated the USA to win Canada's first ever gold medal in basketball at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. Nurse helped Canada to a seventh place finish at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and is set to once again compete for her country at the postponed 2020 Tokyo Games.

The new documentary series with @KayNurse11 airs tonight at 8PM ET on @TSN_Sports. #Uninterrupted

— The Social (@TheSocialCTV) November 25, 2020

In addition to her growing list of accolades, Nurse continues to make history off the court as well, recently joining the Jordan Brand as just the second female ever to be signed. When not competing herself, Nurse also works for TSN as an NBA analyst.

Joining Nurse in this one-of-a-kind virtual chat is UBC men's basketball alumnus and current Toronto Raptors assistant coach, Jama Mahlalela. Graduating in 2004 with a degree in Kinesiology, Jama played five seasons with the T-Birds and served as team captain in his final year when UBC won the Canada West championship.

A past president of the Thunderbird Athlete Council, Mahlalela's passion, dedication, and leadership qualities led to the creation of the Jama Mahlalela Award, named in his honour.

Jama Mahlalela, Kevin Hansonm Sept. 2016
Jama Mahlalela with UBC men's basketball head coach Kevin Hanson in Toronto, 2016

Following his graduation, Jama quickly rose through the coaching ranks, first joining the Raptors organization in 2006 as a member of the team's community development staff. He worked his way up to eventually become an assistant coach starting in the 2013-14 season and three years later became the first Canadian to ever coach in an NBA All-Star Game.

In 2018, Mahlalela was named the new head coach of Raptors 905 of the NBA's G League. Just this month it was announced he would be returning to the Raptors' bench as he will once again serve as an assistant coach under Nick Nurse.

Mahlalela is the founder of Concrete Hoops Basketball Camps, running international exchange camps between Toronto and his native Swaziland, promoting youth engagement and AIDS prevention.

Thank you for everything, Coach Jama! #RoadToTheSix

— Raptors 905 (@Raptors905) December 8, 2020

Don't miss this unique opportunity to hear from Canadians navigating the professional sport bubble. Tickets for the 2021 ZLC Thunderbird Scholarship Breakfast are available now! While the 22nd annual Breakfast will sadly not feature the usual gathering of alumni, donors, student-athletes, coaches, and staff all under one roof, this first-ever virtual version will still allow all in attendance to be a part of something special, and, most importantly, continue to help our amazing student-athletes.

Make sure you secure your tickets now at a special early bird rate of $125! This offer expires December 31.

CLICK HERE for more information and to secure your virtual seat at the ZLC Thunderbird Scholarship Breakfast.

See you all (virtually) on February 23!