Australian Liz Cambage has risen to the very top, from awkward 10-year-old to record-holder in the US WNBA.
After scoring 53 points – the new WNBA record – against New York Liberty, a game that Cambage’s Dallas Wings won 104-87, Victorian-raised Cambage has risen to her rightful place at the top, silencing her doubters.
Elizabeth Cambage, born in the UK but raised in Australia since she was a baby, started her basketball career at Mornington as an awkward kid. Towering at 182cm tall by the of age 10 made her an easy target for bullying as she stood out head and shoulders from classmates.
Cambage has said she hated the early morning weekend basketball games – saying she’d rather sleep in – but fronted up due to her mother’s wishes.
After scoring her first basket, her love for the sport ignited. But it has not all been smooth sailing since – including a very public twitter spat with Andrew Bogut. Fans will be hoping that feud is over after Cambage’s record breaking win, and Bogut’s congratulatory tweet.
To the dumb dumbs out there tweeting me re Cambage:Just because Cambage and I disagree and have had some fun back and forths, doesn’t mean I am cheering for her to do poorly.She made history, and hope she continues to break records and fly the flag for 🇦🇺’s abroad.💪 #onyaCambo
The two started their disagreements during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, before making a truce with an awkward hug.
Then, in May 2017, the feud reignited with Cambage labelling Bogut as foul. The Twitter war recommenced, with each shooting insults back and forth. Bogut called the WNBA star unemployed and guilty of playing the victim, and Cambage replied claiming Bogut was washed up and obsessed with her.
Fans will be hoping Bogut’s latest conciliatory comments are genuine – and that this odd couple of the basketball court can focus more on their respective careers then on downing each other.
Cambage started her professional playing career with the Dandenong Rangers in 2007 and had her big career move to Tulsa Shock in 2011. But she really announced herself on the world stage with the Australian Opals at the 2012 London Olympics.
She was pivotal in the Opals bronze medal finish – defeating Russia 83-74 – and also historically became the first woman to dunk during an Olympic Games.
A low point in her career involved the Aussie attending a music festival over training, which resulted in her being suspended from the national camp. This and other incidents made Cambage more talked about for off-field antics than her on-field play.
Cambage even conceded that if the Opals had won a medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics she may have retired as she had fallen out of love with the sport.
Fast forward to today and Cambage has finally hit top form. She is proving her dominance on the court – evident in her record-breaking game of 50-plus points, 75 per cent-plus shooting and 10-plus rebounds.
The last athlete to achieve this feat? None other than Michael Jordan himself.
Cambage was always destined for greatness – and now she has finally taken her destiny by the horns Aussies will hope this means gold medal success at the Tokyo Olympics.