“I didn’t hear it, but [teammates] confirmed she called us monkeys,” she said.
The match was eventually called off, with some Australian and Nigerian players reportedly shocked after the incident, with Cambage reportedly telling teammates: “Why are you all crying? I’m the one who got hit.”
Cambage has not played for the Opals since then, with the 30-year-old declaring that she had “zero interest” in joining the Australian women for the upcoming World Cup in Sydney. The team also reportedly planned not to select her from a preliminary roster for last December’s tournament.
The Los Angeles Sparks center also reportedly complained to a Nigerian player that she wished she could play for the Nigerian team because her Australian teammates were racists.
“She really complimented us and said her Australian team is racist. This was on the day of the scrimmage,” said a Nigerian player.
The dominant center also reportedly apologized to the Nigerian team for the altercation during the warm-up match over dinner the following evening and was met with mixed reception.
Australian teammates also claimed that Cambage violated COVID-19 protocols by leaving the team’s bubble in Las Vegas, where the team was based for pre-Olympic games and training. Cambage has previously denied this.
Several Australian players were also reportedly frustrated at the lack of accountability for Cambage, who was allegedly not involved in other practices in Las Vegas and had caused numerous incidents within the team before the scrimmage in Nigeria.
“We stuck with 2018 Liz and let the standards slip in an effort to keep her happy, but she became more demanding and selfish,” an Opals player reportedly said.
Earlier this month, Cambage said the Opals had not supported her while she played for the team.
“I am living my best life, being supported and protected at a level that the Opals and Australian team have never given me,” said Cambage.
Basketball Australia declined to comment, while Cambage management did not respond to questions.
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