Australian basketball star Liz Cambage has been named in the prestigious All-WNBA First Team, capping off a impressive season in the United States for the experienced centre.
Cambage, who plays for the Dallas Wings in the WNBA, led the league in scoring with an average of 23 points per game and was ranked second in rebounding (9.7 per game).
It is the first time the veteran Australian Opal has earned All-WNBA First Team honours in what was her return season in the US after a five-year absence.
The 27-year-old, who helped the Wings make the WNBA play-offs this season, is only the third Australian to be named in the merit line-up after Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor previously achieved the feat, and she is the first to do so since 2010.
The All-WNBA First Team – which also includes Diana Taurasi, Tiffany Hayes, Elena Delle Donne and Breanna Stewart – consists of the top five players voted by a panel of American sports writers and broadcasters.
The 203 centimetre-tall Cambage enjoyed a stellar WNBA season, highlighted by her league record of scoring the most points in a game.
She posted a staggering 53 points for the Wings in their 104-87 win over the New York Liberty in July, reaching the 50-point mark on a three-point play with just over two minutes remaining, before breaking the record (51 points set by Riquna Williams in 2013) with a booming three-pointer.
Cambage needed just 22 shots from the floor to reach the 53 points, netting 17 of them as well as 15 of 16 from the free-throw line. She also finished with 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.
The last NBA player with 50 points, 10 rebounds and 75 per cent shooting in a match was Michael Jordan for the Bulls against the Pistons in 1996.
Cambage also played in the WNBA All-Star Game this year for the second time in her career and won the league’s Peak Performer award for scoring, which was helped by registering at least 30 points in six games.
She was outspoken off the court during the 2018 season, having criticised the WNBA about its treatment of players, the pay disparity with men in the NBA and attempts by referees to suppress emotion in games to make them “more ladylike”.
“The WNBA is constantly called the best league in the world, yet we don’t get treated like the best athletes in the world,” Cambage said in July.
“We sign $1 million contracts in Asia and Russia and get treated like royalty but when we are here in America we are flying in the back of the plane in economy, playing back-to-backs [games].”