Like most WNBA players, Las Vegas Aces star Liz Cambage traveled overseas this winter to continue playing basketball and supplementing her income. While most players head to Europe, Cambage, a native Australian, played in China for the Shanxi Flame.
She was unsurprisingly dominant, averaging 33.2 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in just 27.2 minutes per game, until the Women's Chinese Basketball Association was suspended due to the coronavirus -- an illness Cambage herself believes she had. In an Instagram post shared early on Monday morning, Cambage detailed her time in the hospital in China just before Christmas, and urged everyone to take this crisis seriously.
Cambage's full caption:
"Today has definitely been the hardest day for me since this whole COVID19 crisis unfolded. I'm posting this as a reminder as why we need to take social distancing and the governments pathetic attempt at a lockdown so seriously. Before Christmas last year while I was playing basketball in China, I thought I was coming down with the flu again. It started with body aches and coughing up a little phlegm which then turned in to a fever and sweating within 24 hours.
Day 2 I was so weak I couldn't walk and I fainted in an airport. Day 3 - 7 I spent in a wheelchair going to and from hospital. I remember crying screaming (lol dramatic) to mum on the phone that I had some fucked up bird or swine flu, and that she would end up spending Christmas flying to China to collect my body bag. I honestly thought I was going to die. Even though the doctors told me I had a "viral infection" and couldn't / wouldn't tell me more, I clearly got hit with a severe case of covid. It took me until the end of January to have phlegm free lungs.
The thought of passing this virus on to someone with a low immune system is terrifying. You might be young and healthy and not scared of getting the virus, but the fact that you can pass this on with no symptoms is what we need to focus on. please everyone stay inside!!! wash yo hands and take care"
Cambage was not officially diagnosed with the coronavirus, but little was known about the novel pathogen at that time, so it's entirely possible she did in fact have it. Regardless, she has thankfully recovered, and her point about taking things seriously still stands.
Earlier this month, the Aces released a statement which said Cambage, "is currently not exhibiting any health issues, but out of an abundance of caution, will continue to consult with her doctors. The same is true for any of our players competing overseas during the offseason as obviously the health and safety of our players and fans is our highest priority."
The 2020 WNBA season is not scheduled to begin until May 15, but it seems unlikely that any league or sport will be operating that soon. For comparison, the NBA owners are now hoping to re-start their operations before July.