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Liz Cambage to 'step away' from WNBA for 'healing, personal growth'

Veteran center Liz Cambage, who signed with the Los Angeles Sparks this off-season, will step away from the WNBA. Photo by <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Liz_Cambage_shoots_the_ball_(48092714338).jpg" target="_blank">Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons</a>
Veteran center Liz Cambage, who signed with the Los Angeles Sparks this off-season, will step away from the WNBA. Photo by Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons

Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Four-time All-Star Liz Cambage will "step away" from the WNBA so she can focus on healing and personal growth, she announced Monday on Instagram.

"Playing for the [Los Angeles] 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," Cambage wrote. "I'm sorry to have left abruptly and I wish it would have ended on a different note.

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"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. 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 rumors."

The Sparks announced last month that they agreed to a "contract divorce" with the veteran center, who joined the team in February as a free agent.

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Cambage, 30, entered the league as the No. 2 overall pick by the Tulsa Shock in the 2011 WNBA Draft. She played two seasons for the franchise before leaving the WNBA to play in China and Australia. Cambage returned to the WNBA in 2018 to play for the Dallas Wings. The Wings traded Cambage to the Las Vegas Aces in 2019.

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She sat out the 2020 season due to concerns about COVID-19. Cambage earned her fourth All-Star selection in 2021. She then signed with the Sparks in free agency. She averaged 13 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.6 blocks through 25 appearances this season, but was released July 26.

Cambage averaged 15.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.6 steals through six seasons in the WNBA. She averaged a career-high 23 points and 9.7 rebounds per game in 2018 for the Wings.

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Camage also withdrew from the 2021 Summer Games to address her mental health.

"Thank you to all my supporters, family and friends for all the love and light you continue to surround me with," Cambage wrote on Instagram.

The WNBA playoffs start Wednesday and run through mid September. The WNBA Finals are expected to start Sept. 11.

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