Liz Cambage has revealed she would've retired if Australia had medalled at Rio's Olympics, admitting she hated basketball and that her second Olympic campaign was a "horrible time".
But four years on, she's among the best women's basketball players in the world and a fully invested Opal after helping Australia book their ticket to Tokyo on Sunday.
The WNBA All-Star was dominant in the final Olympic qualifying tournament in France, averaging 26 points and 11 rebounds across three games that netted two wins.
The 86-72 defeat of Brazil ensured Australia's Games berth later this year, Cambage unable to hold back tears of joy and relief on court afterwards.
The 28-year-old won bronze at the London Games before a quarter-final exit in Rio saw a run of five-straight Olympic medals for the Opals end.
Cambage was sensationally cut for an Olympic qualification tournament ahead of Rio's Games after she skipped a training camp to attend a music festival.
"Rio was nothing but a horrible time for me," Cambage said after Monday's defeat of Brazil.
"Leading into Rio I hated basketball and wanted to retire; that was meant to be where I got my last medal and retired.
"I think it was God's plan for me to have such a horrible time and want to come back and have another chance of winning a medal."
Cambage won silver with the Opals at the 2018 World Cup but says there is unfinished business in Japan later this year.
"It's been a very tough, emotional couple of weeks leading into this (tournament) and I'm just really happy I've had such great women and coaching staff around me to keep me up," she said.
"I'm very honoured and humbled I get to play this sport and represent my country at the Olympics; there's nothing else like it."
Australia, ranked No. 2 in the world, lost their tournament opener to France before wins against Puerto Rico and Brazil.
Coach Sandy Brondello admitted they would need big improvements to threaten the podium in Tokyo, but that they would come with more time together.
"We've got a long way to go to be at our potential," she said.
"We weren't great in those warm-up games heading into the World Cup (in 2018), but we got better as the games went along."