Kamilla Cardoso declares for 2024 WNBA Draft: South Carolina star projected to be top-five pick

Cardoso went No. 4 to the Los Angeles Sparks in CBS Sports’ latest WNBA mock draft.

South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso is still eying a national championship, and now she has another huge milestone to look forward to this month. The star center has declared for the 2024 WNBA Draft, where she’s projected to be a top-five pick.

Since transferring from Syracuse to South Carolina ahead of the 2021-22 season, Cardoso has improved dramatically each year.

This season was Cardoso’s first as a starter in Columbia, and she’s rewarded coach Dawn Staley’s trust by registering career highs in points (14.1), rebounds (9.4) and assists (2.1). Cardoso’s 2.48 blocks per game also rank 15th in Division I.

A force down low at 6-foot-7, Cardoso is a huge reason why South Carolina ranks first nationally in field goal percentage defense (32.1) and third in rebounding margin (12.2).

South Carolina leading scorer and rebounder Kamilla Cardoso to enter WNBA  draft

She has a huge task ahead in the Final Four, as she’s expected to match up with NC State’s River Baldwin.

“Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my journey so far,” Cardoso posted on social media. “I am excited for what the future holds and can’t wait to see where this next chapter takes me.”

To my teammates, who I considered my sisters, this journey has been one that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Together we did amazing things and grew a bond that no one could take from us.

To my coaches, your guidance, mentorship, and unwavering support have been instrumental in shaping me both as a player and person. I am forever grateful for the impact y’all have had on my life.

To our FAMS, thank you for always believing in me and having my back since the day I became a Gamecock.

I am excited to announce that I am declaring for the 2024 WNBA Draft.

While Cardoso is regarded as a defensive stalwart, her offense game shouldn’t be overlooked. She has a career-best 58.9 field goal percentage this season, displaying soft touch around the rim.

Cardoso also knocked down a buzzer-beating, game-winning 3-pointer vs. Tennessee in the SEC Tournament semifinals.

Cardoso’s absence will certainly affect the Gamecocks next season, but several frontcourt contributors are capable of filling the void in Ashlyn Watkins, Chloe Kitts and Sania Feagin.

Watkins in particular shined when Cardoso had to miss a couple games this season to play for the Brazilian national team.

After Cardoso’s announced her intention to enter the draft, Staley shared a glowing response on social media.

“League ready!” Staley wrote. “Your future is bright! Thank you for trusting us with your career. Always here for you!”

CBS Sports’ Jack Maloney has Cardoso pegged at No. 4 to the Los Angeles Sparks in his most recent mock draft.

However, WNBA fans can get a sneak preview of her game when South Carolina plays NC State in the Final Four on Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

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