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Basketball - 13. April 2011.

WNBA – It’s all about titles for Maya Moore; Liz Cambage remembers Timms

BRISTOL (WNBA/Olympics) – Maya Moore and Liz Cambage were two of the youngest players at the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women.

They were also two of the best, and with maybe the brightest of futures of all the players competing in the Czech Republic.

Moore, at the time a college player for Team USA coach Geno Auriemma at the University of Connecticut, helped the Americans capture the gold medal as a 21-year-old while Cambage, 19, made a huge impact for Australia as they finished fifth.

It’s not surprising that Moore, who was drafted first overall in Monday’s WNBA Draft by Minnesota, will have only one thing in mind going into her rookie season.

“Every year, the goal is a championship," Moore said.

"I go into every team that I play for expecting to win a championship, especially with the amount of talent and experience that we have on the team.

“I don't want to limit it to the play-offs. I want to win a championship.”

The 2.03m Cambage was four when the WNBA launched.

It wasn’t until much later that the big center would know she’d one day play in the league.

"I started seriously thinking about basketball as a profession when I was about 16, I think,” she said.

"That was the year I went pro. And the moment I went pro, I knew that I could come here, play here.”

Just as there are basketball greats like Lisa Leslie and Teresa Edwards in America, there are basketball icons in Australia that have captured the imagination of youngsters Down Under.

Cambage spoke about one of them after being drafted second overall by the Tulsa Shock.

“When I was younger,” she said, “I used to go to Michelle Timms’ camps and I wanted to follow in her footsteps, and I have.

“She was the first Australian player to come here and play in the US (with Phoenix).

“I'm thankful to her for paving that pathway."

Moore is likely to feature for the United States again when they play at next year’s Olympics while Cambage will be in the Australia squad as they take on New Zealand in this summer’s FIBA Oceania Championship – a three-game qualifying series for the London Games.

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