As of Monday, Liz Cambage can officially call Dallas home. The Australian center, regarded as one of the sport’s top international talents, was introduced as a member of the Wings at a press conference Monday.
The Wings held her WNBA rights, as Cambage had played two seasons for the franchise when it was in Tulsa. They then signed her to a multi-year deal on Feb. 5, bringing her back to the States. Here are five things to know about the blockbuster signing:
1) She was selected No. 2 overall behind Maya Moore in the 2011 WNBA Draft. Cambage was just 19 years old, but she managed to average 11.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game on 51 percent shooting as a WNBA rookie. Along the way, she earned All-Rookie Team honors and played in the All-Star Game as an injury replacement. Cambage also played for Tulsa in 2013, increasing her numbers to 16.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game on 56 percent shooting.
2) Cambage has spent the past four years playing in Australia and China. In addition to representing clubs in her home country – where she won league MVP back in 2011 – she has also suited up for multiple teams in China, including Shanghai and Beijing. She was named Player of the Year in China while representing Shanghai.
3) Cambage immediately became a star for Australia at the 2012 Summer Olympics. At age 20, she was a starter for the Opals in the frontcourt alongside three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson. Cambage finished the tournament as Australia’s second-leading scorer with 13.6 points per game (behind only Jackson). In helping her team win the bronze medal, Cambage also became the first woman to throw down a dunk in the Olympics.
4) She was arguably the most dominant player at the 2016 Olympics. Cambage led the entire field in total points and scoring average that summer in Rio, posting 23.5 points per contest on 58 percent shooting. Her performance featured a tournament-high 37 points against Japan in the group stage. Although Australia surprisingly lost to Serbia in the quarterfinal round, Cambage also led the tournament in defensive rebounds (46 total) and ranked second in overall rebounding average (10.3 per game).
5) She is very close with Wings assistant coach Erin Phillips. In speaking to those involved, there’s no doubt that Phillips’ presence in Dallas helped sway Cambage’s decision to come back. Phillips, a fellow Australian, played nine years in the WNBA and last appeared for the Wings in 2016. She was hired as a member of the front office ahead of the 2017 season. Cambage said she also has a strong relationship with Wings head coach Fred Williams, as the two have stayed in touch over the last few years.