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Liz Cambage's return to the WNBA gaining momentum
Liz Cambage's long awaited return to the WNBA continues to gain momentum.
Reports from the US indicate that Cambage is currently in Dallas, the home of the Dallas Wings, the same organisation that currently hold her WNBA rights after she was selected at number 2 in the 2011 WNBA Draft by the then Tulsa Shock.
The 6'8, 25-year-old center who considered retiring from the sport following the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, is believed to be in discussions with the Dallas Wings about an imminent return to the WNBA. Since the Olympics, Cambage has not played competitively, instead focusing on promoting brands, her fashion and sporting interests, while also trying a career as a DJ.
Roy Ward of Fairfax media reported last month that Cambage was open to returning to the WNBA next year and would visit Phillips in Dallas - a situation that has since come to fruition. However the same report indicated that a return to the WNBA was unlikely until the 2018 season. Further adding credence to the likely return of Cambage in Wings colours is that not only does Phillips share the same agent, but she has since been named director of player and franchise development for the same club.
A spokesperson for the Wings did nothing to extinguish the rumored return of the elite big to the WNBA.
"If there is something we need to say on our end, we will say it," a Wings spokesperson wrote in response to being asked whether the team has met with Cambage or had internal discussions about signing her.
The Dallas Wings though have an immediate need. Already boasting a lack of depth at center, the Wings have also just lost Courtney Paris to injury, their best rebounder and rim protector for up to 8 weeks. Cambage would be able to step in and make an immediate impact if she decided to return for the remainder of the 2017 season. The Wings are a young team with a lot of potential, with a 2-2 record to open the season. Whether Cambage returns to the WNBA earlier than previously reported though remains to be seen.
Cambage had an all too brief stint the WNBA for the Tulsa Shock in 2011 and again in 2013 prior to their move to Arlington, Texas to become the Dallas Wings in 2016. The dominant center played for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls in the Chinese Women's Basketball League before representing Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. She reminded everyone as to just how good she can be in Rio, pouring in 37 points against Japan on her way to finishing as the tournament's leading scorer with 23.5 points per game, and second in rebounding with 10.3 per contest as the Opals finished 5th She was also the first female to dunk in Olympic competition, performing the feat at the 2012 London games.
The Melbourne Boomers also recently announced Cambage as a marquee signing, signalling her return to play in the WNBL for the first time since the 2011/12 season.
With Cambage's signing with the Boomers and potential return to the WNBA set to follow, it appears that Cambage has rediscovered her love for the sport. Something that bodes well for the future of the Opals following the retirements of Australian basketball legends Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor.