Liz Cambage set to play for Australia at Commonwealth Games

SYDNEY (AP) — Liz Cambage will play for Australia’s Commonwealth Games team before she returns to the WNBA with the Dallas Wings in May.

Basketball Australia said Wednesday that the 6-foot-8 (2.03-meter) center will lead the national team at the Commonwealth Games which begin on April 4 on the Gold Coast south of Brisbane.

Australia won the men’s and women’s competition in Melbourne in 2006, the only time basketball has featured at the Commonwealth Games.

In early February, Cambage signed a multiyear contract with Dallas, returning to the organization that drafted her second overall seven years ago.

Cambage was 19 when the Tulsa Shock drafted her No. 2 overall in 2011. She averaged 13.3 points with 6.1 rebounds before heading to China and Australia. The Shock moved to Texas three years ago and became the Wings.

A two-time Olympian for Australia, Cambage became the first woman to dunk in an Olympic game in 2012. The 26-year-old London-born Cambage finished as the top scorer in the Australian WNBL last season, averaging 23.1 points and 10.5 rebounds.

The WNBA’s regular season begins on May 18, with the Phoenix Mercury hosting the Wings.

Cambage said it will be a busy year. She hopes to play for Australia at the World Cup in Spain in September, where a full-strength Opals lineup will be among the title favorites.

Then she plans to end the year playing for a European club team.

“It’s a very full-on year … but it’s very exciting,” Cambage said. “I’ve never played a WNBA season in a major international competition year. In the past we’ve always been swayed to stay in Australia and train with the team.

“But having Sandy (Brondello) as our head coach, who’s also a head coach in the WNBA (of Phoenix), she pushes us to be a part of the WNBA which is very exciting.”

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