Liz Cambage’s Olympic Status Reportedly in Question After Physical Altercation

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AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

The status of Las Vegas Aces star Liz Cambage for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo could be in jeopardy.

ESPN’s Olgun Uluc reported the Australian national team is weighing her immediate future “due to an incident that occurred in a closed-door scrimmage against Nigeria.” Uluc added that the 6’8″ center was reportedly “involved in a physical altercation, as well as a charged verbal exchange.”

The Opals are in Las Vegas to train ahead of the Olympics, and they’re scheduled to play Team USA in an exhibition on Friday.

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Prior to Thursday’s report, Cambage figured to be a big part of head coach Sandy Brondello’s squad. She’s averaging 14.6 points and 8.9 rebounds through 19 games for the Aces. The 29-year-old is also shooting 54.3 percent from the field.

While the United States is favored to win gold in Tokyo, Australia is second in FIBA’s world rankings

Cambage was a member of the squad when it captured bronze at the 2012 Summer Olympics and then earned a silver medal in the 2018 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. She was particularly excellent during the World Cup run, leading the competition in scoring (23.8 points).

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Losing Cambage would put a dent in the Opals’ hopes of improving upon a quarterfinal exit in the 2016 Summer Games.

Were she removed from the Olympic team, either Cayla George or Ezi Magbegor would likely take over as the starting center. 

George last played in the WNBA in 2018 and averaged 14.2 points and 9.5 rebounds in 15 games with the Melbourne Boomers during the WNBL’s 2020 season. Magbegor, who was teammates with George in Melbourne, is putting up 5.0 points and 3.8 rebounds through 19 games as a reserve for the Seattle Storm.

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