Australian basketball player Liz Cambage has been in the news after a pre-Olympic warm up match last year reportedly got pretty heated.
The 6’8”, 30 year old has been accused of using racial and derogatory slurs against players of the Nigerian team as well as purposefully elbowing a player in the head while playing for the Australian national women’s team, the Opals. The altercation reportedly left the Nigerian player with a gash on her neck.
The match was played last July in Las Vegas, but reportedly had to be called off before the end of the second quarter due to the embarrassment of Australian team officials.
She released a statement on her Instagram claiming her innocence and saying in fact she was the one physically assaulted by the player she’s accused of insulting.
“I did not use the racial slur towards the Nigerian team that has been circulating. After I unintentionally fouled a Nigerian player on court I was then physically assaulted by this player on the sideline of my bench.”
However, multiple sources have come out and said she did indeed use slurs and derogatory language towards the Nigerian team.
Jenna O’Hea, who captained the Opals in Tokyo before retiring this year, confirmed it when she appeared on ABC Outsiders in May.
Players of the Nigerian team confirmed the details with New.com.au, as well as footage of the match which was obtained by NewsCorp showing the incident unfolding as originally reported.
Cambage was named as part of the national team for the Tokyo Olympics but pulled out stating mental and physical health issues. It came only two days after the scrimmage and 11 days before the beginning of the Olympics.
She said she’d been experiencing panic attacks, and hadn’t been eating or sleeping fro the last month and that she was using medication to help with anxiety.
The Opals Olympic run saw them only winning one of three pool matches before losing to the USA in the quarter finals.
Cambage, who’s father is Nigerian, reportedly told a player of the Nigerian team she wished she was playing for them because the Australian team was racist before the heated game. She also took to Instagram last year to say she no longer had any interest in playing for the Opals.
She uploaded a photo to her Instagram story of an email from Basketball Australia asking her to confirm whether or not she wanted to be considered for selection, captioning the who “do you ever get sick of lying on my name? MY interest was and still is ZERO.”
The four-time All-Starm, who’s worth a cool $3 million according to Media Referee, is currently in her first season with the Los Angeles Sparks, which is her fourth WNBA team in just six years.
Who is Liz Cambage?
Liz Cambage – full name Elizabeth Folake Cambage – was born in London on the 18th of August 1991. She moved to Australia with her mother when she was 3 months old after her parents separated. She initially moved to New South Wales, but eventually settled in Mornington Peninsula, Victoria.
Cambage was almost always destined to play basketball, purely because of her height. At 10-years-old she was already an impressive 6ft, but she continued to grow a 6ft 8in. Her mother encouraged her to start playing basketball when she was 10 to make friends and, showing genuine talent, Liz Cambage has since played In the WNBL, WNBA and the WCBA. She holds the record for the highest single-game scoring in the WNBA, scoring 53-points in 2018 while playing for the Dallas Wings.
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