Cambage happy to headline new WNBL season

Cambage happy to headline new WNBL season

Cambage happy to headline new WNBL season

Leading Opal Liz Cambage says she's ready to wear the pressure that comes with being the WNBL's marquee player this season.

The 25-year-old is back in the Australian league after a five-year hiatus and will turn out for competition favourites Melbourne Boomers.

The league begins next month and will be broadcast - after two seasons off television screens - by Fox Sports.

But it's been a long road back to Australian basketball for Cambage.

Stints in lucrative club competitions in China and the United States led into the Opals' campaign at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

After sailing through the group stage, Australia lost in the quarter-finals to Serbia, crushing all involved.

"It was heartbreaking. My motivation was rock bottom after the Olympics," she said on Monday.

Cambage took time away from the sport and has spent her last year acting her age - travelling, going to festivals and letting her hair down.

A whirlwind 12 months ended at infamous desert festival Burning Man last month, with Cambage now fully charged and ready to fire on-court.

"I had a couple of rough years mentally and physically with basketball so it was really good to take a year off. I think a lot of athletes should do it," she said.

"For me to be back and playing in my home town, it's nice. I'm even emotional about it."

Cambage said she was ready to play the role of basketball ambassador.

"I have been the front woman for a lot of things my life. I'm ready," she said.

"I love putting basketball out there. I love doing what I do.

"If I can get more people to games and more kids playing the sport, that's me doing my job and I'm happy."

That's not to say Cambage is happy just to make up the numbers.

"The last thing I won was with Bulleen Boomers seven years ago. I'm ready to win something," she said.

Basketball Australia chief executive Anthony Moore said Cambage's return had fuelled hopes of the league's 38th season being a banner year.

"The quality of the talent coming into the league makes it one of the biggest and most exciting in WNBL history," he said.

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