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Cambage takes a breather

When a team is struggling like the Tulsa Shock, the last thing it needs is for a world-class center like Liz Cambage to skip an entire WNBA season.

But that’s what has happened in 2012 for the Shock.

Australia Opals pivot Cambage, who missed the first half of the Shock campaign while preparing for the London Games, made a late decision not to play for Tulsa in their last 10 games as she and the team had originally planned because of fatigue.

Cambage’s agent, Allison Tranquilli, said Cambage was “physically exhausted” after the Olympics and needed “some recovery time.”

“Unfortunately this will make her unavailable for the remaining few weeks of the WNBA season,” she said.

“We are aware that this is an unfortunate situation and we appreciate and thank Tulsa Shock for their understanding.”

Fans voiced their displeasure, especially because the club had promoted the bronze-medal winner’s return.

But Shock president Steve Swetoha said to the Tulsa World newspaper: “She said ‘she’s fatigued and if you don’t mind she’d like to take the rest of the summer off…

“She’s telling us now she needs rest and we’re doing everything we can for her – our expectation is that she will be here for 2013.”

Cambage, 21, made her senior team debut at the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women and was the second overall pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft.

At the London Games, she averaged 13.6 points and 5.6 rebounds and also became the first woman to dunk in an Olympic game when jamming one home against Russia in thePreliminary Round.

She had 19 first-half points in Australia’s Semi-Final against the United States to help put the Opals in position for an upset but then didn’t score after the break and the Americans pulled away for victory.

The Aussies rebounded with a bronze-medal triumph over Russia.

Cambage will be the center of attention once again for her country when they compete at the 2013 Oceania Championship and the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women in Turkey.

The next stop for Cambage is China. She will join Chinese club Zhejiang Chouzhou in November.

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