Liz Cambage Australia Opals, what she said against Nigeria, WNBA, Olympic fallout, Jenna O’Hea, news
Former Opals captain Jenna O’Hea has lifted the lid on Liz Cambage’s controversial withdrawal from the Olympics last year, alleging the WNBA star racially vilified her Nigerian opponents during an Olympics match. stormy warm-up.
The high-profile moment contributed to Cambage’s departure from the national team, with whom she has had no contact since. The Opals bombarded the Tokyo Olympics, winning just one of three pool matches before being eliminated by the United States in the quarter-finals.
Cambage was independently investigated by Basketball Australia and issued a formal reprimand, but not a suspension or fine, after the practice match altercation derailed the Opals’ Olympic campaign.
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But so far, details have been scarce about what really happened.
Speaking on ABC The foreignersO’Hea was visibly uncomfortable talking about the moment but confirmed host Kelli Underwood’s claim.
“It all started in that practice game, or in the pre-Olympic game, when you played against Nigeria,” Underwood opened.
“And what happened never really came to light but I had it confirmed by a few sources is it correct that you were playing in Nigeria and Liz Cambidge got her feathers ruffled and she got turned to them and said ‘Go back to your third world country’.
“And, of course, Ezi Magbegor is of Nigerian descent and a Nigerian who now lives in Australia and plays for your team, and as a result there was a fight that broke out and since then you haven’t spoken to him? “
O’Hea replied, “That’s all 100% correct.”
Fellow guest Caroline Wilson then asked O’Hea if Cambage would represent her nation again.
“No,” O’Hea said bluntly.
ABC broadcaster Corbin Middlemas said he was “stunned” Basketball Australia had not revealed the incident.
“I find it amazing, to be honest, that Basketball Australia has never detailed exactly what happened and how we got to this position,” he said.
He added: “The result is that one of the most dominant players on planet earth, who is Australian, will never represent Australia again, and it’s almost like there’s this acceptance that we don’t. don’t want her to play for us and she doesn’t want to play for us and that’s it and it’s over and there’s nothing more to say.
Cambage took to Twitter on Monday morning (AEST) to post a cryptic message in response: “The truth will always come out, and it’s not even dawn yet.”
A Basketball Australia hearing last October found Cambage guilty of prohibitive driving on one charge and dismissed three other charges.
“The panel, having considered the evidence before it, has determined that Elizabeth Cambage engaged in conduct which caused Basketball Australia to be censored in relation to any of the alleged incidents,” the statement read.
“Charges relating to the other three alleged incidents have been dismissed. The Independent Hearing Panel issued a formal reprimand.
Middlemas then explained to O’Hea that the Opals were lost without Cambage.
O’Hea defended the Opals’ disappointing Olympics campaign and said Cambage’s sudden withdrawal a week after their opener gave them little time to adjust as a result.
She went on to defend coach Sandy Brondello’s efforts to try to keep Cambage in Australian basketball.
“Everyone did more than enough,” O’Hea said.
“We sacrificed a lot to try to keep her in the program and she doesn’t want to be here anymore.
“It’s her choice and we have to go on without her so I think Sandy is going to put the team forward for the World Cup this year and I’m really looking forward to seeing them play and I think that has to be the big title. .”
The program earlier heard from Cambage, who moved on to the Los Angeles Sparks, who had given interviews in the United States over the past week, including in a broadcast for The New York Times as well as ABC.
“I’m enjoying my best life, I’m supported, I’m protected to a level that the Opals, or Team Australia, have never given me,” Cambage told the ABC.
“My heart is with those who want to protect me and those who want me to be the best I can be, and I’ve never felt that in the Opals.”
O’Hea dismissed Cambage’s comments, saying she was supportive of the London-born, 30-something and the public can make up their own minds.
“I can hold my head up high and say that I always loved her, always cared for her, always supported her, always supported her,” O’Hea said. .
“I think that’s his reality, and I think listeners and watchers can believe whoever they want to believe. But I can hold my head up high.