'Really excited': Opals respond after staggering Liz Cambage snub

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Liz Cambage, pictured here at a Basketball Australia media opportunity.
Liz Cambage has been left out of the Opals squad for the 2022 World Cup. (AAP Image/Natasha Morello)

Opals coach Sandy Brondello says she is "really excited" about Australia's squad for next year's FIBA World Cup despite Liz Cambage's glaring absence.

Cambage's absence was confirmed on Monday, with the Australian basketball star left out of the squad that will head to Serbia in February with the goal of a podium finish on home soil in September 2022.

FANTASY BASKETBALL: Waiver wire options for Week 8 of the NBA

'FIRST OF MANY': Josh Giddey's 13-year first in huge NBA honour

Cambage declared on Sunday she had "zero" interest in representing Australia, and her wish was granted on Monday.

The 30-year-old posted an Instagram story featuring an excerpt from a Basketball Australia email, in which the governing body asked her to confirm whether she wanted to be considered for selection.

Cambage posted the excerpt along with her own message: "Do you ever get sick of lying on my name? MY interest was and still is ZERO."

Basketball Australia announced a 24-member squad on Monday, leaving Cambage out.

The squad consists of players from the Tokyo Olympics including Jenna O'Hea, Marianna Tolo, Bec Allen and Ezi Magbegor, as well as players from their bronze medal finish in the Asia Cup in September.

Veteran Sami Whitcomb, who was an Asia Cup All-Star five recipient and dual WNBA champion at Seattle Storm, is part of the charge.

Born and raised in America, Whitcomb took up Australian citizenship 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 honour 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."

Opals coach 'really excited' about World Cup squad

Brondello said she was looking forward to getting the squad together to start proper preparations for the tournament.

"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."

Sandy Brondello, pictured here during an Opals game at the Tokyo Olympics.
Sandy Brondello looks on during an Opals game at the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Cambage was reprimanded by BA last month after an investigation into a physical and verbal altercation she had with Nigeria players during a warm-up game before the Tokyo Games.

The star centre pulled out of Australia's Olympic campaign in the days after the Nigeria practice game due to mental health concerns, revealing she'd been having panic attacks about going into the Games bubble.

The world No.2-ranked Opals struggled after Cambage's late withdrawal, losing their quarter-final in Tokyo.

An integrity panel found Cambage guilty of "prohibitive conduct" on one charge but dismissed three others.

She escaped a fine or suspension, with the low-grade penalty leaving her available for World Cup selection.

Australia squad: Rebecca Allen, Zitina Aokuso, Sara Blicavs, Rebecca Cole, Keely Froling, Darcee Garbin, Cayla George, Shyla Heal, Tessa Lavey, Eziyoda Magbegor, Tess Madgen, 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.

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting