The South Carolina Gamecocks coach predicted that Cardoso would win the MVP.

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Kamilla Cardoso has gone practically unnoticed by the media and the public so far in the 2024 WNBA season. The Chicago Sky rookie hasn’t gotten as much spotlight as other players in the 2024 Draft Class, but head coach Dawn Staley thinks her former pupil is on track to be the season’s Most Valuable Player.

Cardoso played under Staley’s command at the University of South Carolina, and they won together the NCAA women’s title twice, in 2022 and 2024. However, their relationship has gone far beyond the courts to the extent that the player considers her a second mother.

Amid the stir that players like Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, and Cameron Brink have caused with their arrival to the WNBA, Cardoso has been a more discreet presence. The former Gamecocks center’s debut was delayed a few weeks due to a shoulder injury, but since her return, she has been a mainstay for the Sky.

According to Staley, Cardoso’s impact in Chicago could soon bring her great rewards, including being named MVP.

Staley trusts Cardoso

In an interview with WGN News, Staley, six times named WNBA All-Star, assured Cardoso has made an effort to translate her game from the NCAA to the professional courts. “I won’t be surprised when she becomes MVP of the league. I won’t be surprised,” said the coach.

She highlighted the virtues of her former pupil by saying, “She’s got that kind of skill set. That kind of one-on-one mentality. 6 ft 7 in, agile, got great hands, got great touch around the rim.”

She also said that Cardoso is acquiring new skills, and she is eager to see how far the player will go. “I’m excited to see when she expands her game and starts shooting a lot more. She’s probably shot more from the outside than she ever did at South Carolina. So, I’m looking forward to seeing her develop it (her jumper).”

Cardoso’s relationship with Staley

Cardoso was born in Brazil and moved to the United States at a young age to pursue her dream of playing basketball. Since her arrival to the Gamecocks in 2022-after transferring from the Syracuse Orange-the player formed a strong bond with Staley.

On several occasions, Cardoso has admitted her deep affection for her former coach. “I’m really grateful to have someone like her in my life. I always say she’s like my second mother. She took care of me while I didn’t have my family,” the player highlighted.

She assured Staley’s teachings have been very useful in her adaptation to professional basketball. “She always taught me to just trust the process, just believe in myself. She’s been an amazing coach.”

Cardoso’s career is just taking off, and her stats have been steadily increasing since she finally debuted for the Sky. The future looks bright for her, and Staley’s predictions will likely come true this year.