Liz Cambage to step away from WNBA to focus on ‘healing and personal growth’

Four-time WNBA All-Star Liz Cambage is taking a step back from the league “for the time being” and wished her departure from the Los Angeles Sparks last month had ended on a different note.

“I’ve decided to step away from the league for the time being and I’m hopeful that the WNBA will do their part in creating safer environments and a stronger support system for their players,” Cambage wrote in an Instagram post.

“While I’ll miss rocking the purple and gold, I’ll be taking this time to focus on my healing and personal growth before providing clarification on past rumours.”

The towering Australian joined the Sparks in the last offseason and averaged 13 points and 6.4 rebounds in 25 games this term. The team hit a skid following her departure on 26 July and failed to make the playoffs, which begin on Wednesday.

“Playing for the Sparks was a dream come true and I’m honoured to have shared the court with such amazing ladies for as long as we did,” she said. “I’m sorry to have left abruptly and I wish it would have ended on a different note.”

Cambage agreed a “contract divorce” with the Sparks last month as the team fought to secure a playoff spot.

“It is with support that we share Liz Cambage’s decision to terminate her contract with the organisation,” Sparks managing partner Eric Holoman said in a statement at the time. “We want what’s best for Liz and have agreed to part ways amicably.”

Cambage quit playing for the Opals after withdrawing from the Australian team citing mental health concerns ahead of the Tokyo Olympics after being embroiled in controversy.

She was accused by players of telling her Nigerian opponents to “go back to your third world country”. Cambage, who was born in London to an Australian mother and Nigerian father, denied the slur.