Liz Cambage to ‘step away’ from WNBA after abrupt Sparks exit

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Four-time WNBA All-Star Liz Cambage announced Monday that she would be stepping away from the league for an undisclosed period of time.

The announcement came less than a month after she opted to terminate her contract with the Los Angeles Sparks.

The former No. 2 overall draft pick acknowledged her abrupt departure from the Sparks on July 26 in a social media post, in which she added that she hopes the league “will do their part in creating a safer environment” for its players.

Liz Cambage (1) of the Los Angeles Sparks reacts during the first half at Climate Pledge Arena on May 20, 2022, in Seattle, Washington.
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

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

LOS ANGELES SPARKS AND LIZ CAMBAGE ARE PARTING WAYS 

“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 added that she will use her time away from the court to “focus on my healing and personal growth before providing clarification on past rumors.”

Liz Cambage of the Los Angeles Sparks looks on during the game against the Minnesota Lynx on May 17, 2022, at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California.

Liz Cambage of the Los Angeles Sparks looks on during the game against the Minnesota Lynx on May 17, 2022, at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California.
(Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Cambage has been vocal about her mental health in the past, sitting out six years before coming back and asking to be traded from the Tulsa Shock, which by then had moved to Dallas. Cambage played in Las Vegas for two seasons before becoming a free agent and choosing Los Angeles.

“It is with support that we share Liz Cambage’s decision to terminate her contract with the organization,” Sparks managing partner Eric Holoman said at the time. “We want what’s best for Liz and have agreed to part ways amicably. The Sparks remain excited about our core group and are focused on our run towards a 2022 playoff berth.”

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The Sparks lost eight of their final nine games and finished out of the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

Liz Cambage (8) and her teammates react after winning the match against Puerto Rico during the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament match between Australia and Puerto Rico, Feb. 8, 2020, at the Prado stadium in Bourges, France.

Liz Cambage (8) and her teammates react after winning the match against Puerto Rico during the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament match between Australia and Puerto Rico, Feb. 8, 2020, at the Prado stadium in Bourges, France.
(Guillaume Souvant/AFP via Getty Images)

Cambage, who plays internationally for Australia, made headlines earlier this summer after she was accused of directing a racial slur toward members of the Nigerian national team during a scrimmage before last year’s Tokyo Olympics. She has denied those allegations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.