Cambage ruled out of Opals for choosing music over hoops

Liz Cambage is back - Courtesy Basketball Australia

In a statement released by Basketball Australia, Elizabeth Cambage made herself unavailable for the three games series against Japan commencing on Monday, and therefore has since been ruled out of the FIBA Oceania Championships as well.

Opals head coach Brendan Joyce was forced to make the call on Cambage’s exclusion after she reportedly chose to attend a music festival that saw her miss the first day of Opals training camp.

As disclosed in The Age by respected basketball journalist Roy Ward, Cambage chose to attend the Splendour on the Grass music festival in Byron Bay over the weekend despite the Opals camp commencing, in doing so going against team policy as described by Cambage’s Opals teammate Rachel Jarry.

“It doesn’t fit in with the culture we are building – you can’t choose a music festival over a camp,” Jarry explained to The Age.

“She is letting her teammates down and I just wish she could have been a part of these games but it’s not to be. Liz is a good friend of mine and I’d love her to be a part of it but the team has to come first.”

After spending the past ten months recovering from an Achilles injury, Cambage’s decision to attend a musical festival over the first day of Opals training camp is a puzzling one, especially given the support Basketball Australia has provided during her rehabilitation from injury. It also follows Cambage’s million-dollar deal to play in China next season.

While there may be more to this story, in not attending the first day of camp, she has disrespected her team, the coaches, administration and ultimately her country. Joyce therefore had little choice but to consider Cambage’s non-attendance at camp as a decision to withdraw from the team.  As a consequence, the exclusion has been extended to the FIBA Oceania Championships as well mirroring a policy that has apparently been applied to the Boomers who left Patty Mills out of the men’s championships.

After recently signing a million-dollar deal to play in China, this is a blow to Cambage’s planned return from injury. Whether this situation impacts on her potential availability or inclusion for the Opals in future is yet to be determined.

With seemingly untapped potential, one can only hope that Cambage is able to adhere to the same tune as her fellow Opals in future.

The Jayco Australian Opals squad: Suzy Batkovic, Sara Blicavs, Natalie Burton, Aimee Clydesdale, Katie-Rae Ebzery, Madeleine Garrick, Laura Hodges, Rachel Jarry, Alice Kunek, Tessa Lavey, Tess Madgen, Elyse Penaluna, Belinda Snell, Stephanie Talbot, and Kelly Wilson.

Opals Schedule

July 27 , 7:00pm AEST vs Japan @ Dandenong Basketball Stadium

Tickets Sold Out

July 29, 7:00pm AEST vs Japan @ Frankston Basketball Stadium

Tickets available via Frankston Basketball Association

July 31, 7:00pm AEST vs Japan @ Ballarat Minerdome

Tickets available online

Damian Arsenis

Written by

A patriotic and passionate follower of all things #AussieHoops. With a Master of Marketing, I am a Life Member of the Warrandyte Basketball Association, Level 2 qualified coach and referee, podcaster, and proud father of three girls.

41 Responses

  1. Cambage doesn’t take her basketball seriously enough. I believe she missed out on a full NBA season for a stupid reason as well. While I am 100 percent against Basketball Australia denying Patty Mills a shot at the qualifiers for being injured, I am completely behind them sacking Liz Cambage for considering Splendour in the Grass to be a better thing to do.
    If representing your country comes in second to going to a music festival; hand in your Opals uniform and never come back.

  2. Cambage ruled out of Opals for choosing music over hoops
    by @DamianArsenis

  3. Andrew Cox says:

    Fair enough too splendour would have been off its head.. and so would she!!!!

  4. Kate Angus says:

    Jade Longworth you did really see her at splendour

  5. Heath Phelan says:

    Shaun Phelan Splendour is that good

  6. Ross Moll says:

    Disappointing decision by the player – team sport here not tennis !

    • Amazing decision Ross. Obviously thinks hawks too good for the programme. Hopefully they omit here from Rio. What’s the point of the sanction if she misses the next few games then gets to go away? Get rid of the dimwit. Obviously she has other priorities.

    • Ross Moll says:

      Bit of rock and hard place Warren Estcourt as will argue omission from any Australian team is a penalty and opposition irrelevant , but hear what your saying .

    • Not sure Warren Estcourt Liz is the only dimwit in the transaction. Acknowledging You know your hoops, Our country hasn’t exactly been reliable in dealing with our NBA and Euro profiled players. Agree if Yu got the balls to publicly omit from Oceania what relevance does that have for future. Better to suit her and others up and not play them 1sec and have them the player explain why. Very poor commercial acumen and public image and attention for the game. Very easy to get sucked into a dick swinging battle which what it looks like to me. No winner and no swingers. Both parties complete dicks together!

    • No winners here at all with this mess

  7. Wow.. We have to put up with NBA teams pulling our national players out because they don’t want them playing & probably pay BA to do it, but Liz goes to a festival & misses one day of training & now she is omitted..

  8. Dyl Clarkson says:

    Pat O’Rourke what a champ

  9. This is Jacob Curmi when we make our team. Christian Jason TolentinoJefferson GutierrezNoël PeterHenok BezunehZach SeyoumRonald Narayan

  10. Brent Reid says:

    Did you see the line up at Splendor though?..

  11. While I can understand this in theory, I’d prefer our athletes to be able to enjoy their lives too. Perhaps by being able to live a somewhat normal life & interact with us all in real life situations would make them even better people, and allow us to appreciate them for who they are instead of putting them in an untouchable bubble and then bag them for not doing enough for the common folk.
    Seriously, are we that precious that someone cannot do both? After all they just happen to be good at a game.
    Would we ever question a pilot, CEO’s of major corporations, bus or train drivers, or a doctor for doing this? DOUBTFUL and they have our lives in their hands.!
    Give them a break & a fair go!

    • Finn Kenny says:

      The problem isn’t that she went to a music festival. The problem is that she went to the festival INSTEAD of going to the selection training camp, which was clearly outlined to be ‘mandatory’ for all players.

    • Finn Kenny says:

      It’s not like they’re asking her to devote her entire life to the Opals. It’s similar to a businessman being given an interview for a major promotion and the not attending, while still expecting to get the promotion. It’s about respect.

    • If the businessperson was the best in the craft they wouldn’t need to interview! They get the position -plain & simple! The best organizations chase & get who they want & need!
      Finn, all I want is our best to represent our country & if they need or want to have some time out to refresh, recharge or get inspired to be the best they can let them do that. What if there was a ‘family issue’ which was unavoidable, would she also not get selected? DONT THINK SO.
      If the coaches don’t have an idea who our best 8 are then they should be sacked for failing in doing their jobs cos if they can only figure that out in a training camp they are incompetent!
      I’m happy for the last few spots to be in contention & decided on performance in training camp but give me a spell that our stars need to prove themselves over & over.
      Not sure about you but I’m not a robot & at times I cannot control how my emotions & mental state are. When I need to do what I need to do to stay sane & passionate about live let alone a game I’ll do that – and I’m happy for all athletes to do that too. The great Michael Jordan went to a Casino on the eve of an important NBA Playoff game back in 1993 & seemed to go ok.
      Give them a break, they are just people who happen to be far better as sports than common folks like you & I

    • And if everything is mandatory for ALL every time without exception no wonder we continually fail to deliver on our potential as a Basketball nation!

    • I don’t know, if a booked a flight somewhere at a certain date and time I’d like the pilot to turn up!
      Anyway LeBron is a much better basketballer and he turns up to training and I’m sure he goes to concerts in his own time.

    • Dave Gridley says:

      Dave, you are assuming she is the best, which she is not.

  12. Aaron Miller oh padua what have you done

  13. Larry Garcia says:

    Getting snapchats of her all weekend!!

  14. ICYMI: Cambage ruled out of Opals for choosing music over hoops by @DamianArsenis

  15. Grant Brooks says:

    Good on ya Liz hope you enjoyed it!

  16. Glyn Quick says:

    Fucking rediculous no wonder these kids run of the rails later in life playing national sport sounds like a dictatorship lighten up

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