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Liz Cambage absent from Australia’s FIBA World Cup team

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Liz Cambage will not play for Australia in next year’s FIBA Women’s World Cup, Australian officials announced Monday, after the Aces star said on Sunday that she had “zero” interest in representing her home country.

Cambage posted an email from Basketball Australia to her Instagram story on Sunday. In it, the federation asks her to confirm whether she wants to be considered for the team.

“We are reaching out to you respectfully to determine whether you want to be considered as a squad member or not for World Cup 2022,” the email read. “If you are not interested in that journey and the commitment required by all squad members then BA would appreciate you advising us accordingly.”

Alongside the email excerpt, Cambage wrote: “Do you ever get sick of lying on my name? MY interest was and still is ZERO.”

Basketball Australia reprimanded Cambage in November after she was involved in an on-court incident during an exhibition game against Nigeria in July. At the time, Cambage withdrew from the Olympics, citing mental health reasons, and later said that the Olympic break saved her season.

Without Cambage, the world No. 2-ranked Opals lost in the quarterfinals in Tokyo.

The 24-player roster representing Australia at the World Cup includes WNBA champion Sami Whitcomb, who became a citizen in 2018.

“Playing in a World Cup in Australia is everything, it doesn’t get any better than this,” the 33-year-old said. “It’s such an honor to suit up in the green and gold and while you make the squad it doesn’t guarantee making the team, so for now I’ll keep my head down and keep working my butt off.”

Sandy Brondello, who led the Phoenix Mercury to the WNBA Finals in 2021, also expressed her excitement to coach the team next year.

“I am really excited about the talent we have in Australian basketball and the squad that we as coaches have put together for 2022 is a great mix of experience and youth,” Brondello said.

“I was particularly excited by some of the performances from the younger players in the Asia Cup post the Olympics who were given a taste of international basketball and there will be opportunities for those who work hard and make the most of their opportunities throughout the upcoming WNBL competition.”

The full roster

  • Rebecca Allen
  • Zitina Aokuso
  • Sara Blicavs
  • Rebecca Cole
  • Keely Froling
  • Darcee Garbin
  • Cayla George
  • Shyla Heal
  • Tessa Lavey
  • Eziyoda Magbegor
  • Tess Magden
  • Jade Melbourne
  • Leilani Mitchell
  • Lauren Nicholson
  • Jenna O’Hea
  • Maddison Rocci
  • Lauren Scherf
  • Alex Sharp
  • Alanna Smith
  • Stephanie Talbot
  • Marianna Tolo
  • Kristy Wallace
  • Abbey Wehrung
  • Sami Whitcomb