One of the tallest players in the WNBA is now in Tulsa. Elizabeth Cambage, who was drafted by the Shock in Monday's draft, arrived in Tulsa Tuesday and sat down with NewsChannel 8's Chris Lincoln.
Cambage is 6'8" and will become the tallest player on the team and among the tallest in the league when she steps on the court for the Shock this June. The 19-year-old began playing at the age of ten and she wasn't quite fond of the game to start with.
"I really hated it," she remembers. "I was un-co and a bit chubby and lazy, but you know my coaches pushed me and got me into it and it was around 12 or 13 I started to get really competitive with the sport, I moved to one of the best teams in Melbourne, the coaches really started developing me and when I was 16, I started playing WNBL, which is the biggest league in Australia."
Cambage turned a lot of heads at yesterday's draft not only for her height, but also for her fashion sense, something she says is a new love of hers. But, she says her dress maybe stood out a bit too much.
"I just did my thing and I stood out a lot I think," she says. "I kind of looked like a big bird -- the Big Bird of the WNBA."
A funny and somewhat embarrassing moment took place at the draft as well when it came to meeting her head coach, Nolan Richardson, for the first time.
"Straight after you're being drafted, you're rushed out and you're doing interviews and phone calls and so I'm talking to all the coaching staff and I thought they were here in Tulsa, I didn't know they were at the draft. So, I'm being rushed back in the studio to do another interview and coach is like 'Hey, how are you doing? Congratulations.' And I'm like 'Yep, thanks, see ya, goodbye.' I didn't know it was him. And, so I come past by again and he said 'You do know I'm your coach, right?'.
When she's not playing basketball, Elizabeth says she's a big music nut, especially when it comes to supporting Australian music and up and coming performers. But, she says because basketball is such a demanding sport, most of the time, you'll find her "eating or sleeping."
A news report in her native Australia made it seem like Elizabeth wasn't fond of coming to Tulsa, but Cambage is quick to dispel any ideas that she didn't want to play here.
"It was a Melbourne paper and I think it got a bit misleading with what I said. And I'm just happy to be here, really happy to be in the WNBA and here in such a lovely town like Tulsa."
And here in Tulsa, Elizabeth says she's looking forward to meeting her new teammates, especially one in particular.
"I can't wait to meet Sheryl Swoopes, you know she's an old star of the game and just play and just win some games. I just want to get out there and play."
She'll get the chance to do that when the Shock open camp next month. And, the first real game action she'll see will come June fourth when the Shock open the regular season at San Antonio.