Time out was the right call

Geelong Advertiser - - SPORT - LACHIE YOUNG

AUS­TRALIAN bas­ket­ball star Liz Cam­bage con­cedes she needed a break from the sport af­ter last year’s Olympic Games.

Fol­low­ing the Opals’ early exit to Ser­bia in the quar­ter-fi­nals at Rio, the 204cm cen­tre did not play a com­pet­i­tive game for more than 12 months, tak­ing time to freshen up ahead of what looms as the big­gest year of her ca­reer in 2018.

The Achilles ten­don in­jury she suf­fered in 2014 was still caus­ing con­cerns and while many pro­fes­sional ath­letes might have found it dif­fi­cult to step away from their cho­sen en­deav­our, Cam­bage has no doubt it was the right call.

“I just re­ally needed to his re­set men­tally and phys­i­cally,” Cam­bage said.

“I was at the point where I could hardly walk and just get­ting up for shoot­ing was agony with my Achilles.

“But my Achilles is feel­ing stronger than ever and I’m still get­ting my touch back — I’m still a lit­tle bit rusty — but each game I’m get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter and that year off re­ally helped.”

Last night the 26-year-old played a star­ring role for her new WNBL side the Mel- bourne Boomers, run­ning amok at both ends of the court and fin­ish­ing with 25 points and 14 re­bounds (10 in de­fence) from just 21 min­utes of game time.

Ever the per­fec­tion­ist, there were mo­ments of frus­tra­tion that started to creep in on court, which is nat­u­ral given she is still get­ting her touch and feel back af­ter her ex­tended leave of ab­sence.

But Cam­bage says while she will al­ways be her harsh­est critic, her new team­mates had made tran­si­tion­ing back to com­pet­i­tive bas­ket­ball an en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence as she pre­pares for a whirl­wind 12 months.

“I get so mad at my­self, I have lit­tle fits of Tourette’s with my­self when I miss an easy lay-up or do some­thing silly but I have al­ways been hard on my­self,” she said.

“But it’s good fun, the girls are all so lovely and it’s such a great group. Ev­ery­one gets along, ev­ery­one comes to train­ing and works hard so it’s a re­ally nice vibe from the top of the pyra­mid down.

“Next year is mas­sive, I’m look­ing to play Com­mon­wealth Games and go back to the WNBA and there are the World Cham­pi­onships, then I’ll prob­a­bly head over­seas again and try to make some money in Europe or China.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.