Skylar Diggins-Smith

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Skylar Diggins-Smith
Skylar Diggins NBA All-Star 2014 7 (cropped).jpg
Diggins at the 2014 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game
No. 4 – Dallas Wings
Position Point guard
League WNBA
Personal information
Born (1990-08-02) August 2, 1990 (age 27)
South Bend, Indiana
Nationality American
Listed height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Listed weight 145 lb (66 kg)
Career information
High school Washington (South Bend, Indiana)
College Notre Dame (2009–2013)
WNBA draft 2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3rd overall
Selected by the Tulsa Shock
Playing career 2013–present
Career history
2013–present Tulsa Shock / Dallas Wings
Career highlights and awards
Stats at WNBA.com

Skylar Kierra Diggins-Smith (born August 2, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Dallas Wings of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She was drafted 3rd overall by the Tulsa Shock in the 2013 WNBA draft. In high school, she was the National Gatorade Player of the Year, the Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year, and a McDonald's All-American. Diggins played point guard for Notre Dame, where she led Notre Dame to three consecutive Final Fours and two consecutive NCAA championship appearances. She finished her Notre Dame career ranked first in points and steals, second in assists, and as a two-time winner of the Nancy Lieberman Award as the top point guard in the nation, while leading her team to a record of 35-2.

Early life

Diggins was born in South Bend, Indiana. She is the daughter of Tige Diggins and Renee Scott and step-daughter of Sarah Diggins and Maurice Scott. Diggins has three younger brothers Tige, Destyn, and Maurice and one younger sister Hanneaf. She also grew up playing softball.

High school career

Diggins attended Washington High School in South Bend, Indiana. Diggins was a four-year starter and three-year team captain at Washington High School, where the Panthers had a combined record of 102–7.[2] In her freshman year, she averaged 20.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists. 3.6 steals, and 1.2 blocks. As a sophomore, she averaged 24.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 4.7 steals. During her junior year she averaged a state-best 29.5 points, in addition to 7.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 3.9 steals, and 1.7 blocks. As a senior, she averaged a state-best 29 points per game, along with 6.3 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 5.4 steals and 2.2 blocked shots. She tallied fourteen 30-point games in 26 games played, and narrowly missed a rare quadruple-double in the '08–09 season opener vs. LaPorte, finishing with 28 points, 12 assists, 12 steals and nine rebounds. Diggins finished her career with 2,790 points, the third-highest girls' scoring total in Indiana history for an average of 25.9 points per game.

During her time there, Diggins led the Panthers to state championship games, including Washington's title-winning season of 2007. Diggins was named to the all-state first team in 2007, 2008, and 2009. In addition to basketball, she participated in volleyball and did well academically, earning High Academic Honors as a senior, and being a member of National Honor Society. Diggins was a two-time Gatorade Indiana Girls Basketball Player of the Year.[1] Diggins was named a WBCA All-American, and was a McDonald's All-American selection.[3] She participated in the 2009 WBCA High School All-America Game, where she scored 24 points.[4] In the March 30, 2009, issue of Sports Illustrated, she was part of its Faces in the Crowd segment.[5] Diggins chose Notre Dame over Stanford, but was able to make friends with Stanford alum Candice Wiggins after visiting the university.

College career

Notre Dame (2009–2013)

Freshman season

As a freshman, Diggins became the fourth Indiana native to join the Irish roster in 2009–10, and she was one of three Miss Basketball honorees on the 2009–10 Notre Dame roster. Diggins played and started in 30 of ND's 35 games. She led the team in scoring (13.8 ppg), steals (2.6 spg) and assists (tied – 3.2 apg), and set freshman records for steals (90), free throws made (111), free throws attempted (142) and minutes played (1,028). Diggins had a team-high eight "5–5–5" games (including all three NCAA tournament games) and at least one steal in 33 of 35 games (16 outings with 3 or more steals, including all six postseason games). She is the fourth Notre Dame player to score 400 points as a freshman and was the first Notre Dame freshman with 100 assists in a debut season since Mollie Peirick in 1994–95.

Sophomore season

Diggins rose to national prominence in her sophomore year, finishing the regular season first on the team in assists per game (4.8 average), while placing second in scoring (14.4) and third in steals (1.9). She scored in double figures 30 times, including eight 20-point outings, and notched at least five assists in 21 games.[6] Diggins continued her stellar play in the NCAA tournament, leading the Irish to the second championship game appearance in school history, ten years after Notre Dame captured the national title in 2001. In the regional final, they beat Tennessee (fourth-ranked team in the country) by a score of 73–59. Diggins scored a then-season-high 24 points in the game, and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2011 NCAA Dayton Regional. Diggins went over the 1,000-point mark for her career, becoming just the second Notre Dame women's basketball player to reach that milestone before the end of her sophomore season.[7] In the semifinal game, the Notre Dame point guard led her team to victory over heavily favored UConn (the number-one team in the country) with 28 points (her highest single-game total on the season), 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals.[8] Diggins also made all six of her free-throw attempts. Notre Dame was victorious in its third Final Four appearance ever, defeating the two-time defending champion Huskies by a score of 72–63.[9] However, the Fighting Irish lost to the Texas A&M Aggies in the final game of the 2011 women's basketball tournament, by a score of 76–70. In the losing effort, Diggins finished with 23 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals. She made 8 of 9 free-throws in the game, including two with 40.7 seconds remaining. But the sophomore struggled from beyond the arc, sinking only 1-of-5 three-point attempts. Diggins also committed 6 turnovers, the last one ending Notre Dame's chances for good as the game clock wound down. As the Associated Press reported, "Diggins, fighting back tears, said the Irish couldn't handle A&M's pressure. 'We turned it over too much. I don't know if it was nerves or what,' she said. 'We just didn't handle the pressure.'"

For her excellence on the court, Diggins was selected by the Associated Press as a 2011 Third Team All-American,[10] and she was also honored as one of ten members of the 2011 State Farm Coaches All-America Team. She joined Baylor's Brittney Griner as one of only two sophomores honored, and was just the third Irish women's basketball player to earn the award, joining Ruth Riley (2001) and Jacqueline Batteast (2005).

Junior season

Following the end of the regular season, Diggins was named a unanimous selection to the Big East All-First team, was awarded the Big East Player of the Year, and was a Consensus first team All-American. During the postseason, she made history in the NCAA Raleigh Regional final against No. 5 Maryland with 22 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds to tally the first triple-double in Notre Dame postseason history. Notre Dame met UConn for a second straight year in the Final Four, with the Irish again coming out victorious, winning 83–75 in overtime. The Irish would go on to lose in the finals to Baylor. Diggins was named the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year, the first Notre Dame player to win the award.

Senior season

In her final year, Diggins had the best season of her college career. She started in all 37 games. She led the Big East and ranked 19th in the nation in assists, and was also third in the Big East and 18th nationally in steals. At the end of the regular season, Diggins was a unanimous selection to the Big East first team, was awarded the Big East Player of the Year, and was a Consensus first team All-American for the second straight season.

In the Big East Tournament, Diggins was named to the All-Tournament team after leading the Irish to their Big East championship game victory, defeating the UConn Huskies, as she had 12 points, 6 assists, 5 steals and 3 rebounds. In the NCAA Tournament, Notre Dame earned a 2 seed as Diggins led them easily over Tennessee-Martin, Kansas, and won the Norfolk Regional final defeating No. 5 Duke as Diggins was named the Norfolk Regional Most Outstanding Player.

Her college career came to an end in the 2013 NCAA women's basketball final four to Big East rival and eventual champion the University of Connecticut, who Notre Dame had met up with and defeated in the two previous Final Fours. Diggins was named the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year for the second straight year.

Notre Dame statistics

Source[11][2]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Year Team GP Points FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2009-10 Notre Dame 35 484 43.9 35.0 78.2 4.1 3.2 2.6 0.7 13.8
2010-11 Notre Dame 39 585 43.2 33.3 73.2 4.0 4.8 1.9 0.4 15.0
2011-12 Notre Dame 39 657 50.0 35.5 78.6 3.3 5.7 2.6 0.5 16.8
2012-13 Notre Dame 37 465 42.3 36.2 81.4 3.5 6.1 3.0 0.7 17.1
Career Notre Dame 150 2537 44.8 35.0 77.8 3.7 5.0 2.5 0.6 15.7

Professional career

Skylar Diggins-Smith in a 2017 WNBA regular season game

In the 2013 WNBA Draft, Diggins was drafted 3rd overall by the Tulsa Shock.[12]

Diggins averaged 8.5 points per game, 1.9 rebounds per game, 26.4 minutes per game and led the Shock in assists per game (3.8). She was named to the All-Rookie Team. Diggins had a breakout year in the 2014 WNBA season and was named a WNBA All-Star for the first time and was also voted as a starter. In a regular season game loss to the San Antonio Stars, Diggins scored a career-high 34 points.[13] During the All-Star game, she had a team high 27 points including a lay-up that sent the game into overtime. She ranked second in league in scoring with 20.1 points per game, fourth in assists with 5.0 and tenth in steals with 1.5. Diggins passed former guard Deanna Nolan for the most points in a Shock season with 683 points.[14] Diggins won the 2014 WNBA Most Improved Player Award.[15]

On June 28, 2015, Diggins suffered a torn ACL with 44 seconds left in a regular season game victory against the Seattle Storm, she would miss the rest of the season, including the playoffs since the Shock had a playoff berth finishing 3rd in the western conference. They would get swept in the first round by the Phoenix Mercury. Diggins only played 9 games and averaged 17.8 points per game, she was named a WNBA all-star starter for the second year in a row despite missing the all-star game due to the torn ACL injury.[16]

After recovering from a torn ACL injury, Diggins returned in time for the 2016 season, her first game back from injury was on May 21, 2016. By this time the Tulsa Shock had relocated to Dallas, Texas with the franchise being renamed the Dallas Wings. Diggins had also signed a multi-year contract extension with the Wings.[17] She played 27 games and averaged 13.1 points per game throughout the season.

In the 2017 season, Diggins would play all 34 games of the season and return back to peak form. She scored a season-high 30 points along with a franchise record 7 three-pointers in a 81-69 win over the San Antonio Stars.[18] Diggins would then be voted into the 2017 WNBA All-Star Game. Diggins finished off the season averaging 18.5 ppg as well as a career-high in assists and rebounds, helping the Wings reach the playoffs as the number 7 seed in the league. In her first career playoff game, Diggins scored 15 points in a losing effort to the Washington Mystics of the first round elimination game.

WNBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2013 Tulsa 32 21 28.7 .328 .244 .833 1.9 3.8 1.3 0.3 8.5
2014 Tulsa 34 34 35.1 .424 .284 .842 2.5 5.0 1.5 0.6 20.1
2015 Tulsa 9 9 32.1 .405 .448 .918 2.7 5.0 1.6 0.3 17.8
2016 Dallas 27 25 28.3 .390 .299 .788 1.9 3.4 1.1 0.3 13.1
2017 Dallas 34 34 34.2 .422 .350 .894 3.5 5.8 1.3 0.8 18.5
Career 5 years, 1 team 136 123 31.5 .401 .311 .852 2.5 4.6 1.3 0.4 15.4

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2017 Dallas 1 1 34.6 .333 .200 1.000 2.0 3.0 0.0 0.0 15.0
Career 1 year, 1 team 1 1 34.6 .333 .200 1.000 2.0 3.0 0.0 0.0 15.0

USA Basketball

Diggins was a member of the USA Women's U18 National Team, starting all five games at the 2008 FIBA U18 Americas Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was part of the United States team that went undefeated and won the gold medal. She averaged 10.8 points on 50-percent shooting from the field, 3.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.0 steals in 23.2 minutes per game. In the tournament, she ranked among the top 5 in scoring (1st), field goal percentage (7th), assists (1st), steals (1st) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1st).

Diggins played on the 2009 USA U19 World Championship Team that posted a 8-1 record in Bangkok, Thailand, and brought home the gold medal. She played in eight games and averaged 11.6 ppg., 3.0 rpg. and 1.9 apg. in 23.1 minutes a game.

Diggins again played for USA Basketball at the 2011 World University Games held in Shenzhen, China. They won all six games to earn the gold medal. She led the team in points, assists and steals in the game against Great Britain. Diggins was the third leading scorer on the team, with 74 points, and led the team in assists and steals with 29 and 20, respectively.[19]

In September, 2014, Diggins got the news that she didn't make the World Championship team after meeting with U.S. women’s national team director Carol Callan and coach Geno Auriemma. She averaged 5.0 ppg. and 1.3 apg. in three USA National Team exhibition games and was one of the final three cuts.[20]

Offseason

Diggins has become an advocate against childhood obesity, a guest interviewer for ESPN, and a model for Nike. She has appeared in Vogue magazine and in a swimsuit shoot for Sports Illustrated.[21]

Diggins also hosts "Shoot 4 The Sky" camps around the world for boys and girls grades 2–12.[22]

Personal life

Diggins has a degree from Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business.[21] In June 2016, Diggins got engaged to her longtime boyfriend Daniel Smith who is a former Clay High School and Irish receiver.[23] The couple got married in May 2017, and she changed her last name to Diggins-Smith. [24]

Endorsement deals

In 2013, Diggins signed with Roc Nation Sports, becoming the first female athlete to do so.[25][26] That same year, she also signed an endorsement deal with Nike.[27] In 2014, Diggins signed an endorsement deal with Bodyarmor SuperDrink.[28]

Awards and honors

  • Dawn Staley Award (2013)[29]
  • Best WNBA Player ESPY Award (2015)
  • Named one of the 25 most beautiful women in sports (2013) [30]
  • Big East Player of the year (2012, 2013)
  • Associated Press All-American First Team (2012, 2013)
  • Associated Press All-American Third Team (2011)
  • 2009 consensus Naismith Prep Player of the Year, earning top honors from Gatorade, Atlanta Tipoff Club (Naismith Trophy), ESPN Hoopgurlz and MaxPreps
  • Three-time high school All-American by Parade magazine (first team 2008 and 2009; third team 2007)
  • Three-time high school All-American by EA Sports (first team 2008 and 2009; second team 2007)
  • USA Today All-USA Team (first team 2009; third team 2008)
  • USA Today All-Underclass Team (2006)
  • Two-time Gatorade Indiana Player of the Year (2008 and 2009)
  • Two-time MaxPreps Indiana Player of the Year/first-team All-American (2008 and 2009)
  • 2009 Indiana Miss Basketball[31]
  • 2009 South Bend Tribune Girls' Athlete of the Year (covers all female high school athletes in all sports throughout newspaper's coverage area)

Biography

TV

Year Title Role Notes
2014 Wild 'n Out Herself Team Captain

References

  1. ^ a b http://playeroftheyear.gatorade.com/winners/2008-09/girls-basketball/bio/. Retrieved July 30, 2009.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Skylar Diggins Bio". und.com. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  3. ^ "Garrett Gilbert and Skylar Diggins Named Gatorade High School Athletes of the Year". Reuters. 2009-07-15. 
  4. ^ "WBCA High School All-America Game Box Scores". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 29 Jun 2014. 
  5. ^ "Skylar Diggins – WNBA Draft". WNBA. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Diggins named All-American by WBCA; 3rd Irish player ever". WNDU.com. 
  7. ^ Byrne, Pete. "Skylar Diggins an All-American". wsbt.com. Retrieved March 29, 2011. 
  8. ^ Ceaveland, Roger. "UConn upset by Notre Dame in Final Four". Republican-American (Waterbury, CT). Retrieved April 5, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Notre Dame stuns two-time defending champion UConn in national semifinal". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  10. ^ Rallo, Curt. "Notre Dame women's basketball: Diggins on All-American third team". SouthBendTribune.com. Archived from the original on July 6, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2011. 
  11. ^ "NCAA Statistics". web1.ncaa.org. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  12. ^ "Griner, Delle Donne, Diggins go 1–2–3". espn.go.com. April 15, 2013. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  13. ^ SKYLAR DIGGINS SCORES CAREER HIGH OF 34 POINTS
  14. ^ Player Bio
  15. ^ "Tulsa's Skylar Diggins Named 2014 Most Improved Player Presented by Samsung". Retrieved 2014-08-28. 
  16. ^ Shock's Skylar Diggins named WNBA All-Star starter
  17. ^ Dallas Wings Sign Skylar Diggins to Contract Extension
  18. ^ Diggins-Smith hits franchise record 7 3s, Wings beat Stars
  19. ^ "Twenty-Sixth World University Games – 2011". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  20. ^ Zaccardi, Nick (19 February 2015). "Skylar Diggins reflects on getting cut from World Championships team". Olympictalk.nbcsports.com. 
  21. ^ a b "Skylar Diggins Boyfriend, Basketball Camp, Feet, Ethnicity – Facts You Need to Know". Latino Post. 
  22. ^ "Shock guard Skylar Diggins sets basketball camp for April 26". Tulsaworld.com. 
  23. ^ WNBA Superstar Skylar Diggins Is Engaged to Daniel Smith: See Her Engagement Ring!
  24. ^ "Skylar Diggins has a new name and a new jersey". ESPNW. May 2, 2017. 
  25. ^ Some of the Best Women Endorsement Deals
  26. ^ How Skylar Diggins became a success story for Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports
  27. ^ Skylar Diggins lands Nike Air Force 1 endorsement deal
  28. ^ WNBA Superstar Skylar Diggins Becomes BODYARMOR Endorser
  29. ^ "Skylar Diggins to receive Dawn Staley award". The Philadelphia Tribune. Retrieved 2016-04-09. 
  30. ^ http://www.rantsports.com/clubhouse/2013/08/29/15-most-beautiful-women-in-sports/
  31. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20090722033830/http://www.wsbt.com/sports/41833927.html. Archived from the original on July 22, 2009. Retrieved August 10, 2009.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
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