Melbourne Boomers sign Liz Cambage

Liz Cambage will return to the WNBL for the first time in five years, signing with the Melbourne Boomers for the 2017/18 season.

Cambage’s deal will keep her in Melbourne for one season.

“I am so excited to be playing in front of my home town after so many years competing overseas, and it is especially thrilling for me to be rejoining my Deakin Melbourne Boomers family,” Cambage said in a statement.

“I have such wonderful memories at the club and we have high hopes as a team of replicating that again. Everyone has been so welcoming.

“I am so happy to be at home. I have said for some time now that I wanted to remain a Melbourne girl and this is step one in the process before hopefully representing Australia at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018."

Along with Cambage, the Boomers have also added Opal Jenna O’Hea to next season’s roster, as they hope to arrest their poor 2016/17 campaign.

The Boomers finished second last with a 5-17 record last season, but with the likes of Maddie Garrick, Bec Cole, Bec Ott and Brittany Smart returning, coach Guy Molloy has a talent filled roster.

WNBL Rookie of the Year, Monique Conti, has also committed to the Boomers. However, she looms as a top pick in this year’s AFL Women’s draft, which could cloud her basketball future.

An eighth signing will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Liz is a valuable leader and role model, both on and off the court,” Molloy said.

“It’s great to welcome her back to the Boomers family.

“In having Liz and Jenna, we have experienced international-level players who will lead from the very front.”

Cambage brings championship pedigree to the Boomers, as she has enjoyed a decorated international career since departing the WNBL in 2012.

Her stellar campaign at the 2016 Rio Olympics is still fresh in Australian basketball fans minds, where she averaged a tournament high 23.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.

Additionally, Cambage was a WNBA All-Star and made the All-Rookie team in 2011 with the Tulsa Shock, her lone season playing in America.

Since then, Cambage has carved out a successful stint in China with Beijing Great Wall and Shanghai Boashan Dahua. Over the past three seasons, the 25-year-old has averaged 30.5 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks; form the Boomers will be hoping she can bring to Melbourne.

Before embarking on her overseas basketball journey, Cambage played a pivotal role in the Boomers’ 2011 title winning campaign, when she won the league’s MVP at just 19-years-old.

“Liz’s return marks an exciting time in women’s sport in Australia, with growing public attention and support,” Boomers Chairman, Tony Hallam, said.

“Liz is one of the very best players in the world. Today marks a significant moment for our club, our partners, and most importantly, our members.

“It also means the Boomers’ rapidly-growing fan base will see the very best Victorian talent in action right here in Melbourne. We’re thrilled that Liz is coming home to play.”

This week, the WNBL and Fox Sports entered an agreement that’ll see the league be broadcast on TV across the next three seasons.