NEW YORK (AP) — The Dallas Wings are doing their best to woo Australian center Liz Cambage to return to the WNBA.
She visited Dallas this week while on vacation and now is in New York, coincidently, as the Wings played the Liberty on Friday night.
Coach Fred Williams enjoyed spending time with Cambage in Dallas, but didn’t know when and if she would return to the team, which still owns her rights after drafting the 6-foot-8 star in 2011 with the No. 2 overall pick.
“It’s up to her,” Williams said. “We haven’t talked about her coming this year. I’m just happy to see her and see what’s going on.”
Cambage’s first stop on her vacation was Dallas to see Australian teammate Erin Phillips, who works for the Wings now after retiring in May.
“Liz and I are really close,” Phillips said. “She’s here in New York, we’re having lunch again. When you’re a foreigner you want to have a piece of home when you go overseas and hopefully she sees that in me.”
The Wings took Cambage on a tour of AT&T Stadium in Dallas, with the team logo and “Welcome to Dallas Liz” on the 25,000-square foot video board. She took in the team’s home game Tuesday night in a luxury suite.
“Obviously, when I see Liz I mention the fact that she should play for Dallas someday,” Phillips said. “I’m confident she will. When she does I’m not sure. This is a fantastic organization and she knows that. The door will always be open and I think when she’s ready she’ll make a great impact on this team and this league. I’m always encouraging her from that standpoint.”
Cambage last played for the team when it was in Tulsa in 2013. She averaged 16.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks.
“A player of her stature would help any organization,” Williams said. “I have a good repartee with her. I didn’t have a chance to talk with her in person until she came with the Australian Olympic team to play at Madison Square Garden last summer. I think her being around visiting, having a feel for where the site is as opposed to being in Tulsa. She likes the market, a lot of things going on. There’s a lot of smiles.”
Cambage told The Associated Press at the Olympics last summer that she was definitely interested in playing in the WNBA again at some point, but her top priority was Australia’s national team.
The Wings certainly could use her with center Courtney Paris out for the next six to eight weeks with a knee injury. Dallas was outrebounded by New York 44-28 on Friday night in a 93-89 loss.
“We’d be very excited about trying to figure a way to get Liz Cambage back into the Dallas organization,” Wings president and CEO Greg Bibb said. “I think Liz has been on record saying a return to the WNBA is something she’s considering. We own her rights.”
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