South Carolina squad gets emotional watching Kamilla Cardoso’s preseason debut with Chicago Sky. No matter where she goes, she’ll be remembered as a Gamecock always

WNBA rookie Kamilla Cardoso and her former South Carolina teammates

Basketball fans flocked to the WNBA League Pass to watch Kamilla Cardoso and Angel Reese make their debuts for the Chicago Sky in a preseason game against the Minnesota Lynx on Saturday.

The game was not being broadcast on TV except for an enterprising fan livestreaming it on their X account. But the popular Cardoso’s former South Carolina Gamecocks teammates could not miss the forward’s debut.

After the matchup, Gamecocks stars Chloe Kitts, Te-Hina Paopao and Bree Hall all got emotional watching their former teammate making her professional debut under her post about the game on Instagram.

“Come back,” Kitts wrote. “I miss u.”

“Killaaaaa,” wrote Paopao.

“Alright bro come put a gamecock jersey on,” Hall wrote.

Kamilla Cardoso gets unorthodox debut game livestreamed

Kamilla Cardoso came into the WNBA as one of the most recognizable faces in women’s college basketball after leading the South Carolina Gamecocks to an unbeaten national championship win.

The fact that she teamed up with former Southeastern Conference rival Angel Reese has made their partnership all the more intriguing.

After their exhibition game on Saturday was listed as available on the WNBA app, it wasn’t shown, much to the outrage of many fans. Some even accused the league of being biased toward showing Caitlin Clark’s Indiana Fever debut instead.

X user @heyheyitsalli then took the unorthodox step and decided to livestream the entire game from their phone, marking an unusual method for Kamilla Cardoso and Angel Reese’s debut to be documented.

“Would y’all want me to try and stream the game on here??” the X user posted. “No promises on the quality but I can try.”

The game was watched by 434,000 viewers, peaking at 173,381 live viewers, showing the sheer appetite for the women’s game.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve detailed the faux pas by the league and the livestream numbers as evidence that interest in the game is at an all-time high during her postgame news conference.

“Anybody that watched it should send three bucks to the person, I don’t even know who it is,” Reeve said. “I think that what I would say is that the growth is happening so fast. It’s so accelerated. And I’ve been saying this in our own organization — that business as usual isn’t going to work anymore. You’re gonna get left behind, and this is an example.”

Kamilla Cardoso only played 13 minutes during the Chicago Sky’s preseason 92-81 loss to the Minnesota Lynx. She registered six points, four rebounds and two blocks.

Chicago Sky coach Teresa Weatherspoon detailed that she deliberately advocated picking Angel Reese and Kamilla Cardoso due to their competitiveness, but their marketability is an added bonus to the twin acquisition by the WNBA franchise.