Standing at 203cm, Liz Cambage rapidly soared into the
Opals’ starting line-up. Born in London to an Australian mother and a Nigerian
father, Cambage made her senior debut for Australia off the bench in 2009.
Cambage was so impressive that she was picked to start the next game. At the
age of 18, Cambage was Australia’s leading point scorer at the 2010 World
Championships where the Opals finished fifth. She also won the WNBL title in
2010-2011 and was named MVP. Cambage was selected as the second pick in the
2011 WNBA draft and impressed in her rookie season with the Tulsa Shock, being
named in the WNBA All Star team.
Cambage was one of the first women selected for the Opals’
London 2012 campaign- and rightfully so. In Australia’s crucial preliminary
match against Russia, Cambage landed a slam dunk which set the stadium alight.
Cambage is regarded as the first ever woman to dunk at an Olympic Games, and
the moment inspired the Aussies to a 70-66 victory.
After defeating China in the quarter-final (75-60), where
Cambage top scored again (17 points), the Aussies faced the USA earlier than
expected for a berth in the gold medal match. As they had done in three
previous Olympic campaigns, the world number one USA beat the Australians
(86-73) and went on to take gold over the French. Australia faced Russia for
the bronze, winning 83-74 to continue the Opals’ strong Olympic record.
Cambage averaged 13.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in London.
Following London she headed to China where she averaged 30
points and 11 rebounds in her time at sides in Zhejiang, Beijing and Shanghai.
After limited time in the green and gold due to injuries, Cambage returned to
the Australian side for a series of camps and pre-Games European tour in the
lead up to the Rio 2016 Games where she was a stand-out performer.
Australia lined up against hosts Brazil in their opening match of Rio 2016 and after being down ten after the first quarter the side fought back to secure a 18 point win. A close win over Turkey was followed up with another dominant 18 point victory over France. Down by 16 early in the fourth quarter to go, Cambage scored 17 points in the final eight minutes to lead Australia to 92-86 win over Japan. Another dominant fourth quarter saw Australia complete another comeback, this time against Belarus, as the Aussies finished the group undefeated to set up a quarter-final clash with Serbia. The match was back and forth the whole way with Serbia claiming a two point lead with just 10 seconds to go. The Aussies had the chance to level the match but couldn’t score as the side's run of five straight women’s Olympic basketball medals came to an end.
Cambage averaged 23.5 points and 10.3 rebounds in just under 24 minutes a match in Rio. Her dominance saw he lead the entire tournament in overall points scored (141) and points averaged while she finished second in rebounds averaged.