As a retired basketball player in mid-2000, lifelong mate and Australia's most successful WNBL coach Carrie Graf reminded me of the requirements of a successful sporting team.
"Luc, the Caps' culture of success is based on having athletes and people with great on court skills, but of equal importance, our athletes are great people - people with a selfless, team first attitude, ability to handle adversity, communicate effectively and respresent our organisation with pride and professionalism."
With that, I pulled on my playing shoes again, rejoined the likes of Shelley Gorman, Lauren Jackson and Eleanor Sharp on court and won a further two WNBL championships.
One of the highlights was addressing a bushfire ravaged, overflowing AIS Arena as team captain after winning the 2003 Championship, to rejoice in the elation and euphoria only a hard-earned sporting contest can deliver.
Fast forward nearly 20 years, and the truisms of what it takes to be a great, successful sporting team have not budged. Great athletes and more so, great people, lead to sporting success.
Thanks to a global, commercialised love of a sporting contest, many athletes are provided incredible privileges - for some, breathtaking pay checks, enviable lifestyles along with a traditional and social media platform to be heard and influence the masses.
Former Australian Opal Liz Cambage is clearly an outstanding athlete. At 2.03m, a prolific shot blocker, rebounder and scorer, Liz has a basketballing body created by the Goddess of Basketball herself.
The events over the last 48 hours and in the preceding years however, have, shown us that Liz is not yet ready to hold her place in our elite, Australian basketball team, the Opals.
The selfless, team first attitude, ability to handle adversity, communicate effectively, representation of the Opals brand with pride and professionalism is very evidently lacking.
It's obviously evident to Tokyo Olympic bound Opals, who within hours of Liz's departure from the team, achieved an outstanding 70 to 67 win over nemesis Team USA.
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I'd say it's even evident to Liz herself, who has entirely appropriately exited the team.
Successful athletes must either already be exponents of the desired team values - for example Opals captain Jenna O'Hea and Canberra favourite Marianna Tolo - or they must be committed to the values and willing to learn. Taking a very public path of complete contradiction to the team values doesn't demonstrate any level of understanding or willingness and openness to learning.
The best part about life though, is that not one of us gets it right all the time. At 52, my lived experiences and observations are that we're all bumbling our way through, being the best people we can be, including, necessarily messing it up at times and learning how to do things better.
Despite the frustration, embarrassment and disappointment a lot of us feel right now, we're actually also a pretty forgiving bunch.
The Opals are just days away from commencing their Tokyo Olympic campaign and if there was a commitment and understanding of the team values, particularly the ones about selflessness and handling adversity, the real life lessons learned thanks to Liz will be invaluable and the win over the USA showed how this manifests in the team's on court performance.
My hope and wish for Liz is that she can take some time away from the game that has served her so well to now, use this as a circuit breaker and with the support of family and friends, head down a path towards first recognising and second, starting to live the values of successful athletes and people.