Australian basketball star Liz Cambage posts bizarre video in support of NIGERIA at Tokyo Olympics – after ‘physical altercation’ with African side in Las Vegas
Australian basketball star Liz Cambage has sent out a bizarre video message cheering for the Nigeria women’s team at the Olympics, weeks after a confrontation with members of that team led to her withdrawing from the Games.
The 29-year-old Las Vegas Aces center sensationally retired from the Tokyo Games earlier this month on mental health grounds after being involved in a clash with players from the West African nation in a warm-up match.
The fiery clash is still under investigation by the sport’s national governing body, Basketball Australia.
But judging by her new social media post, Cambage – whose father is a Nigerian – has no lingering ill will towards the D’Tigress team.
Australian basketball star Liz Cambage is pictured broadcasting a bizarre video message cheering Nigeria’s Olympic women’s team
The 29-year-old Las Vegas Aces center sensationally retired from the Tokyo Games earlier this month on mental health grounds after being involved in a showdown with players from the West African nation in a warm-up match
The fiery clash is now under investigation by sports governing body Basketball Australia. Pictured: Liz Cambage arrives at the 2021 WNBA All-Star Game on July 14, 2021
“To all my D’Tigress family, good luck at the Olympics,” the four-time WNBA All-Star said in a video message posted to Twitter on Tuesday.
‘Go get some hard metal. Let’s go.’
When Nigerian captain Adaora Elonu was questioned about what happened in the much-discussed but not televised clash with Cambage in the warm-up match, she remained tight-lipped.
“It’s something that happened behind closed doors. There’s nothing we can really talk about,” she said News Corp.
“We as a country, as Nigerians, we embrace everyone as Nigerian and she is (Cambage) half Nigerian, so technically we just see her as Nigerian.
“So we embrace her as one of us, good or bad.”
Ezinne Kalu #23 of Team Nigeria drives to the basket on Tuesday against Sue Bird #6 of Team United States Nigeria’s 81-72 loss to the Americans at the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo
The father of Australian basketball star Liz Cambage (pictured playing for the Opal in 2012) is Nigerian
Australian Opals star Liz Cambage (pictured) cited mental health issues for her reason for withdrawing from the Olympics
Despite Cambage’s encouraging words, Nigeria lost 81-72 to the United States on Tuesday at the Saitama Super Arena.
The Australian Opals got off to an even worse start without their main gun on the field, heading to Belgium’s 85-70 at the same location.
The Aussies will focus on Friday’s clash with rising basketball powerhouse China before taking on Puerto Rico in their next Group C game.
After Cambage announced her shocking departure from the competition, she explained to her fans that she was not in the right form to play at her best in the Olympics and had decided to withdraw.
“Any athlete competing in the Olympics should be at their peak mental and physical, and I’m a long way from where I want and need to be,” she said.
Australian basketball star Liz Cambage is pictured in a skimpy white bikini
Cambage initially threatened to boycott the Tokyo Olympics over an alleged lack of racial diversity in the Australian Olympic Committee’s promotional photos
Cambage, 29, doesn’t think she could handle living in a bubble away from family and friends in Tokyo before the Games
“It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with my mental health in the past and living in a bubble without family and friends (in Tokyo) is really terrifying to me.
“Relying on daily medication to control my anxiety isn’t where I want to be right now.
“It breaks my heart to withdraw from the Olympics but I think it’s the best decision for the Opals and myself right now.”
Cambage wished her Opals teammates “nothing but good luck in Tokyo” and said she hopes they “go ahead and win a gold medal”.