Kamilla Cardoso’s South Carolina teammates react to her heartfelt NCAA Tournament tears

Raven Johnson and Chloe Kitts expressed their appreciation for South Carolina teammate Kamilla Cardoso after Cardoso showed how much she cares about the Gamecocks with a display of pregame emotion.

South Carolina women’s basketball star Kamilla Cardoso wiped tears from her eyes before her squad walloped North Carolina, 88-41, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. Two of her teammates showed love to the center following the display.

According to The State, Raven Johnson said: “I felt bad for her because I don’t like to see her cry, but it’s tears of joy.” Chloe Kitts, meanwhile, added: “I was just like, ‘Aww.’ It was so sad she was crying because we don’t want her to leave.

Kamilla Cardoso: South Carolina women's basketball center in photos

But at the end of the day, she has to do what’s best for her. … We have no idea what’s gonna happen.”

Cardoso may have just played her last home game, as the Gamecocks will head out to neutral sites for the remainder of their March Madness run.

Kamilla Cardoso was moved by the love she received from South Carolina fans in what might have been her final game at Colonial Life Arena.

The Brazilian standout has the option to stay another year with the program but is considering an entrance into the 2024 WNBA Draft. She’s a projected top-10 pick.

“Even though I’m undecided, it was like, ‘Wow, what if this is my last game?’” Cardoso said via The State. “It was just emotional.”

Cardoso registered a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. She only needed to play 25 minutes given the lopsided scoreline.

The 22-year-old missed South Carolina’s prior contest – a blowout victory over No. 16-seed Presbyterian – through suspension for her role in a much-publicized fight with LSU during the SEC Tournament. All of the attention brought on by that incident added another dimension to her feelings on Sunday.

“Last week was a long week for me, but I’m just glad I was able to get my head up and bounce back and go out there and have fun with my teammates,” Cardoso said.

Tears of joy' for Kamilla Cardoso in what could be final South Carolina  home game

Head coach Dawn Staley shares a special relationship with Cardoso, having helped her acclimate to the United States from Brazil. So, Staley wishes the best for Cardoso regardless of her imminent WNBA decision.

“Kamilla could have gone anywhere in the country, but she chose to come here,” Staley said.

“She trusted us enough to come here and to continue her career,” the coach continued. “It means the world, because if it was her last game in Colonial Life Arena, we’re sending her off well, both on the court and the FAMS right before the game.

That kind of ovation that they gave her meant that we love her deeply for choosing us.

“Whatever she decides, we’re going to cheer as hard, whether it’s here or whether it’s in the WNBA.”

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