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Basketball star Liz Cambage announces she is stepping away from the WNBA ‘to focus on healing and personal growth’

<i>Adam Pantozzi/NBAE/Getty Images</i><br/>Since she was drafted as the No. 2 overall pick in 2011
NBAE via Getty Images
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE/Getty Images
Since she was drafted as the No. 2 overall pick in 2011

By Issy Ronald, CNN

Four-time WNBA All-Star Liz Cambage has announced that she is “stepping away from the league for the time being,” three weeks after she agreed to a “contract divorce” with her team, the Los Angeles Sparks.

“Playing for the Sparks was a dream come true and I’m honored to have shared the court with such amazing ladies for as long as we did,” Cambage said in an Instagram post.

“I’m sorry to have left abruptly and I wish it would have ended on a different note.”

The 30-year-old Australian, who holds the league’s single-game scoring record with 53 points, joined the Sparks in February and has since averaged 13.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 25 games.

“It is with support that we share Liz Cambage’s decision to terminate her contract with the organization,” Sparks Managing Partner Eric Holoman said in a team press release in July. “We want what’s best for Liz and have agreed to part ways amicably.”

Following her departure on July 26, Los Angeles has lost eight of its final nine regular season games and failed to make the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

“I’m hopeful that the WNBA will do their part in creating safer environments and a stronger support system for their players,” Cambage’s post continued.

“While I’ll miss rocking the purple and gold, I’ll be taking this time to focus on my healing and personal growth before providing clarification on past rumors.”

The Sparks signed Cambage as a free agent before allegations that she had directed racial slurs at Nigeria’s national team during a closed-door practice before the Olympics last year became public in May 2022.

An independent review in November 2021 issued Cambage with a formal reprimand after it found that she had engaged in conduct that “brought Basketball Australia into censure in relation to one of the incident charged” during a scrimmage between Nigeria and the Australian Opals in July 2021.

“Charges in relation to the other three alleged incidents were dismissed,” the statement continued, without elaborating on their nature. Cambage denies the allegations and later withdrew from the Australian Olympic team citing mental health reasons.

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