Connect with us


Kamilla Cardoso family tree: Get to know WNBA Draft prospect’s mother, sister, Brazilian heritage | Sporting News



It’s never easy when international athletes uproot their entire lives to come to the United States. They are leaving behind friends and family to travel to an entirely different world in order to succeed in their sport. 

It’s a move that South Carolina center Kamilla Cardoso made four years ago when she first left her home country of Brazil to play high school and college basketball in the U.S., and it sure has paid off. 

A native of Montes Claros, Brazil, Cardoso first played high school basketball at Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was considered a five-star recruit and one of the top prospects in a loaded 2020 class. She eventually committed to play at Syracuse, where she spent her freshman season before transferring to South Carolina in 2021 to play for Dawn Staley’s program. 

The switch from the Orange to the Gamecocks proved to be the right call. The star center is coming off her second NCAA national championship, as she helped lead South Carolina to a perfect season in 2023-24 with a win over Iowa in the March Madness title game. Cardoso led the team in points (14.4 per game), rebounds (9.7 per game), and blocks (2.5 per game) in her final year playing college hoops. 

“I gave up time with my family in Brazil to come here and try and reach the highest level possible,” Cardoso said in a 2020 interview with Chattanooga Times Free Press. “This has been home for me now. I want to play in the WNBA one day, and this has been such a good fit for me.”

Cardoso’s dream of reaching the WNBA is about to become a reality, as she’s considered one of the top prospects in the 2024 WNBA Draft. It’s not a question of if she’ll be selected — it’s now a matter of what team she will be playing for next season, adding another chapter to her story.

Here is more information on Cardoso’s Brazilian heritage and family. 

WNBA MOCK DRAFT 2024: Projecting where Kamilla Cardoso, Angel Reese will be picked after Caitlin Clark

Kamilla Cardoso family

Kamilla Cardoso’s mother: Janete Soares

Cardoso’s mother is Janete Soares. 

Soares and Cardoso’s sister, Jessica Silva, were at the center of one of the most heart-warming moments of the season. Ahead of Cardoso’s Senior Day at South Carolina, Soares and Silva surprised Cardoso at practice, marking the first time the family was in the United States to watch the Gamecocks star. 

Cardoso was stunned by the news and shed tears of joy before embracing her mother and sister. 

“When she started talking, I was crying and I was like, I don’t even want to listen anymore because I’m going to cry even more,” Cardoso said. “I looked to the door. And there was my mom and my sister.

“This is an incredible moment for all of us, for someone who has made incredible sacrifices for her family for the past eight years…the past eight years, just for this game, just for the game that she loves,” Staley said. “We got a chance to do something pretty special. Kamilla, let’s bring the people who also made that sacrifice for the past eight years. To be away from your family as long as you’ve been away from your family, we wanted to make this day special.”

Staley said Cardoso has seen her family on several occasions since arriving in the United States, but it has always been Cardoso going back to Brazil. This time was different, as the family came to the U.S. and watched her perform in person.

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

MORE: Meet The Sporting News 2023-24 Women’s College Basketball All-America Team

Kamilla Cardoso’s sister: Jessica Silva

Cardoso has an older sister, Jessica Silva. 

Silva is a female weight loss specialist and the owner of Luxuria, a lingerie shop, according to her Instagram. Silva frequently posts content on the platform that is related to fitness exercises and dieting tips. 

The sister of the South Carolina star has been an avid supporter from afar. When Cardoso and South Carolina won the national championship, Silva posted a video on her Instagram congratulating her younger sister on the accomplishment. 

Continue Reading