VIDEO: South Carolina flies in Kamilla Cardoso family members

Kamilla Cardoso’s family had never seen her play college basketball in person. South Carolina’s 6-foot-7 forward made sure it was well worth what it took to get her mother and sister from Brazil to Colonial Life Arena.

Watch the touching moment here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6woQ6rgQP1U

Cardoso had 18 points and 14 rebounds in the top-ranked Gamecocks’ 76-68 victory over Tennessee on Sunday, with her mother, Janete Soares, and older sister, Jessica Silva, on hand for her senior day ceremony.

Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley surprised her leading scorer and rebounder Saturday when she brought Soares and Silva to practice. Cardoso covered her face with her hands, and the trio shared a long hug during the unexpected reunion, which South Carolina posted on social media.


Coach Dawn Staley and Rep Clyburn surprise Kamilla Cardoso - YouTube

“This is an incredible moment for all of us,” Staley said Saturday, “for someone who has made incredible sacrifices for her family for the past eight years.

“We got a chance to do something pretty special. Yep, Kamilla. Let’s bring the people who also made that sacrifice for the past eight years,” Staley continued. “To be away from your family as long as you’ve been away from your family, we wanted to make this day special.”

Soares and Silva joined Cardoso on the court Sunday as she was honored for her three seasons with the Gamecocks. Soares had a Brazilian flag draped around her as the fans cheered.

Front Office Sports on X: "Kamilla Cardoso was born in Brazil—but landed a scholarship in the U.S. despite the distance and language barrier. On Saturday, she hit a buzzer beater to save


South Carolina flies in Kamilla Cardoso family members - YouTube

After the game, Staley said the visit had been in the works for some time and almost did not happen when the two were initially barred from entering the United States.

Staley got in touch with Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C. His staffers, along with several South Carolina administrators, were able to secure visas for Cardoso’s relatives.

Fellow Gamecocks senior Te-Hina Paopao said Cardoso was moved by having her family close by.

“It was just an amazing moment for us, for her to experience that,” Paopao said. “It was very heartwarming to see that.”

Staley said Cardoso had returned to Brazil several times during her career for family time, but this was different.

“To play in front of your family with all of us, I know she wanted to win and play extremely well,” the coach said. “And I thought she did that.”





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