Cambage's message to Nigeria after Olympics exit

1 month ago 17
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Opals star Liz Cambage has sent a message of support to the Nigerian women's basketball team, just a few weeks after she withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics following an incident during a warm-up scrimmage against them.

Cambage, who is of Nigerian descent on her father's side, sent a video to the D'Tigress team wishing them luck in their Games campaign.

"To all my D'Tigress family, good luck at the Olympics," Cambage, 29, said in the post before Nigeria faced the US women's team.

"Go get some hard metal. Let's go."

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Elizabeth Cambage during the Women's Gold Medal Game at the Commonwealth Games (Getty)

On the same day, the Opals began their Tokyo campaign against Belgium, suffering a shock 85-70 loss.

Two weeks ago Cambage surprisingly withdrew from the Aussie side for the Olympics citing health reasons. Her decision followed a verbal and physical altercation in a closed Olympics warm-up game against Nigeria in Las Vegas which is still shrouded in secrecy.

Basketball Australia confirmed after the incident that Cambage's role in the controversy was under investigation "for a breach of the integrity framework and code of conduct", but few details of what actually happened have been revealed

Nigeria's captain provided no further information about the incident in Vegas.

"It's something that happened behind closed doors," Adaora Elonu told News Corp.

"There's nothing we can really talk about with that.

"Us as a country, as Nigerians, we embrace everyone as Nigerian," Elonu added.

"And she's (Cambage) half-Nigerian, so, technically, we just see her as Nigerian.

"So, we embrace her as one of us, good or bad."

Nigeria went on to win their opening Games clash against the Americans, 82-71.

Ranked second in the FIBA rankings behind the USA, the Opals are considered major gold medal contenders in Tokyo, but the exit of the 6-foot-8 veteran centre was a huge blow on the eve of the Olympics.

In a statement after her withdrawal, Cambage "wished the team well" as she focuses on her health.

"Anyone that knows me knows one of my biggest dreams is winning an Olympic gold medal with the Opals. Every athlete competing in the Olympic games should be at their mental and physical peak, and at the moment," she said.

"I'm a long way from where I want and need to be.

"It's no secret that in the past I've struggled with my mental health and recently I've been really worried about heading into a "bubble" Olympics. No family. No friends. No fans. No support system outside of my team. It's honestly terrifying for me. The past month I have been having panic attacks, not sleeping and not eating.

"Relying on daily medication to control my anxiety is not the place I want to be right now. Especially walking into competition on the world's biggest sporting stage.

"I know myself, and I know I can't be the Liz everyone deserves to see compete for the Opals. Not right now at least. I need to take care of myself mentally and physically.

"It breaks my heart to announce I'm withdrawing from the Olympics, but I think it's best for the Opals and myself. I wish them nothing but the best of luck in Tokyo and I hope they go forth and win a gold medal. Love and light," she concluded.

If you or anyone you know needs immediate support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or via lifeline.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

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