Skylar Diggins

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Skylar Diggins
Skylar Diggins NBA All-Star 2014 7 (cropped).jpg
Diggins at the 2014 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game
WNBA's Tulsa Shock  – No. 4
Guard
Born (1990-08-02) August 2, 1990 (age 23)
South Bend, Indiana
Nationality American
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 145 lb (66 kg)
College Notre Dame (2009–2013)
Draft 3rd overall
Tulsa Shock
WNBA career 2013–present
Profile WNBA player profile
WNBA teams
Tulsa Shock (2013–present)
Awards and honors
  • WNBA All-Star (2014)
  • McDonald's All-American (2009)
  • 2009 Indiana Miss Basketball
    Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year (2009)[1]
  • Big East Player of the year (2012, 2013)
  • Associated Press All-American First Team (2012, 2013)
  • Associated Press All-American Third Team (2011)

Skylar Kierra Diggins (born August 2, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Tulsa Shock of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She was drafted 3rd overall by the Tulsa Shock in the 2013 WNBA draft. Diggins played point guard for Notre Dame and is their all-time leading scorer with 2,357 points. She was a McDonald's All-American coming out of high school.

Early life[edit]

Diggins is the daughter of Tige Diggins and Renee Scott and step-daughter of Maurice Scott and Sarah Diggins. Diggins has three younger brothers Tige, Destyn, and Maurice and one younger sister Hanneaf.[2]

High school[edit]

Diggins was a four-year starter at Washington High School, where the Panthers had a combined record of 102-7.[2] In four consecutive years, Diggins led the Panthers to state championship games, including Washington's title-winning season of 2007.

In her senior year, she led the Washington High School Panthers to a 26-1 record and a runner-up finish in the Class 4A state tournament, where they fell to the nation's number-one-ranked team, Ben Davis of Indianapolis, 71-69. 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.

Diggins was a two-time Gatorade Indiana Girls Basketball Player of the Year.[1] Diggins was named a WBCA All-American. She participated in the 2009 WBCA High School All-America Game, where she scored 24 points.[3]

A McDonald's All-American Game selection,[4] she 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. 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.

University of Notre Dame career[edit]

Freshmen Year[edit]

As a freshman, Diggins became the fourth Indiana native to join the Irish roster in 2009-10, along with fellow South Bend-area guard (and co-captain) Melissa Lechlitner, Indianapolis guard Ashley Barlow (and co-captain) and Valparaiso forward Becca Bruszewski. In addition, she was one of three Miss Basketball honorees on the '09-10 Notre Dame roster, along with Lindsay Schrader (Illinois 2005) and Kellie Watson (Michigan 2008).

Sophomore Year[edit]

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). Since the season began, she has scored in double figures 30 times, including eight 20-point outings, and has 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.

Additionally, with her performance against the Lady Volunteers, 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]

She has also showed her prowess as a floor-leader throughout the tournament, even dishing out a career-high 12 assists (most by a Notre Dame player in more than 11 years) in the Irish's 78-53 Sweet 16 victory over Oklahoma. By beating Tennessee and UConn, Diggins and the Lady Irish became the first team to ever beat both teams in the same tournament.

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 in the familiar confines of Conseco Fieldhouse, where she had previously led her high school team to four straight state championship games and one win.

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).

Diggins was chosen as one of four finalists for the 2011 Nancy Lieberman Award, given to the nation's top point guard. During the 2011 season, she was also selected as one of twenty midseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award, and was among thirty midseason candidates for the James A. Naismith Trophy. Connecticut's Maya Moore won both of these awards. In addition, Diggins was one of twenty-five players selected for the State Farm Wade Trophy's preseason "watch list". The Wade Trophy was also awarded to Moore.

Junior Year[edit]

In the 2011-2012 season Notre Dame won the Big East regular season title, defeating UConn both times they played. They then lost to them in the conference tournament finals. Notre Dame met up with 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 won the Big East player of the year award and was selected to the Associated Press All American First Team. She averaged 16.8 points, 5.7 assists, and 2.6 steals per game, leading the Big East in assists and steals. Her 102 steals were a Notre Dame single-season record.[2]

Senior Year[edit]

In her senior year Diggins was named as a candidate for the Wooden Award, Nancy Lieberman Award, Naismith Award, Senior Class Award, and Dawn Stanley Trophy. Diggins started all 37 games, averaging 17.1 ppg, 6.1 apg, 3.5 rpg. and 3.1 spg., with three double-doubles and one triple-double (at DePaul) She set school record with 114 steals, while career-high 225 assists were third-most for one season in program history increased nearly all averages in five-game run during postseason play (17.4 ppg., 7.4 apg., 3.2 spg., .400 3FG%).Diggins scored in double figures 33 times, including 12 20-point games (both team highs) posted team-best 10 "5-5-5" games this season (at least 5 in three of five major statistical categories) She led BIG EAST and anked 19th in nation in assists and also third in BIG EAST and 18th nationally in steals, fourth in free throw percentage (.814) and scoring, fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.67) and sixth in three-point percentage (.362).

Following the end of the regular season, Diggins was named a unanimous selection for the Big EAST All-First team, and was awarded the Big East Player of the Year for the second straight season, and was named a first team All-American on the Wooden team, Associated Press team, USBWA and NABC, and a second team member for Sporting News. In the Big EAST Tournament, Diggins was named to the All-Tournament team after leading the Irish to their Big EAST championship game victory in school history defeating the UConn Huskies as she had 12 points, 6 assists, 5 steals and 3 rebounds and came up with decisive steal with eight seconds left in tie game, then weaved through three Connecticut defenders before passing off to Natalie Achonwa for game-winning layup with 1.8 seconds remaining. In the NCAA Tournament, Notre Dame earned a 2 seed as Diggins lead them easily over Tennessee-Martin, Beth Morgan, Kansas, and won the Norfolk Regional final defeating No. 5 Duke as Diggins as 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 University of Connecticut who Notre Dame has meet up with and defeated in the two previous final four. Diggins was named the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year award winner for the second straight year. Finished her career as the all time Notre Dame leading scorer with 2,357 points. One of only six NCAA Division I players since 1999-2000 to compile 2,000 points/500 rebounds/500 assists/300 steals in her career—others were Alana Beard (Duke), Shenise Johnson (Miami-Fla.), Leilani Mitchell (Idaho/Utah), Maya Moore (Connecticut) and Courtney Vandersloot. (Gonzaga) Only Notre Dame basketball player (either gender) to amass 2,000 points/500 rebounds/500 assists/300 steals in her career (men's player Chris Thomas met all marks except steals (244) from 2001–05) .Notre Dame career records for points, steals, free throws made, free throws attempted, games started, minutes played, double-figure scoring games and triple-doubles.

She ranked second in school history for career assists, field goals made, field goals attempted and games played ...ranked among top 15 in BIG EAST Conference history (regular season games only; 1982-83 to present) for career free throws made (7th), free throws attempted (11th), assists (15th) and steals (tied-15th). Only Notre Dame player to earn the Nancy Lieberman Award (nation's top point guard) and one of only three players in award's history to claim the honor twice.

University of Notre Dame statistics[edit]

 Skylar Diggins Statistics at Notre Dame University 
Year G FG FGA PCT 3FG 3FGA PCT FT FTA PCT REB AVG A TO B S MIN PTS AVG
2009–10 35 169 385 0.439 35 100 0.350 111 142 0.782 143 4.1 112 97 23 90 1028 484 13.8
2010-11 39 202 468 0.432 36 108 0.333 145 198 0.732 156 4.0 186 155 17 75 1226 585 15.0
2011-12 39 233 466 0.500 33 93 0.355 158 201 0.786 127 3.3 222 103 19 102 1201 657 16.8
2012-2013 37 218 515 0.423 46 127 0.362 149 183 0.814 131 3.5 225 135 27 114 1184 631 17.1
Totals 150 822 1834 0.448 150 428 0.350 563 724 0.779 557 3.7 745 490 86 381 4639 2357 15.7

Professional[edit]

In the 2013 WNBA Draft, Diggins was drafted third overall by the Tulsa Shock.[11] 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 scored a career-high 22 points vs. Phoenix Mercury on June 16, 2013. She was named to the All-Rookie Team,[12]

USA Basketball[edit]

Diggins was a member of the USA Women's Under-18 National Team, starting all five games at the 2008 FIBA Under-18 Americas Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was part of the United States team that went undefeated and won the gold medal. Statistically, she averaged 10.8 points on 50-percent shooting from the field, 3.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2 steals in 23.2 minutes per game. In the tournament, she ranked among the top 10 in the entire tournament in scoring (10th), field goal percentage (7th), assists (2nd), steals (8th) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2nd).

July 29, 2009: Notre Dame incoming freshman guard and United States co-captain Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) scored 11 points, including three three-pointers in a 42-second span early in the first quarter, as the USA trounced Japan, 109-68, on Wednesday in its final Group F second-round contest at the FIBA Under-19 World Championship inside the Bangkok Thai-Japan Youth Center in Bangkok, Thailand.[13]

Diggins played on the team representing the USA at the 2011 World University Games held in Shenzhen, China. The team 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 12.3 points per game, and led the team in assists and steals with 29 and 20, respectively.[14]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 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)
  • 2012 Indiana Miss Basketball[15]
  • 2009 South Bend Tribune Girls' Athlete of the Year (covers all female high school athletes in all sports throughout newspaper's coverage area)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://playeroftheyear.gatorade.com/winners/2008-09/girls-basketball/bio/[dead link]
  2. ^ a b c "Skylar Diggins Bio". und.com. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  3. ^ "WBCA High School All-America Game Box Scores". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 29 Jun 2014. 
  4. ^ "Garrett Gilbert and Skylar Diggins Named Gatorade High School Athletes of the Year". Reuters. 2009-07-15. 
  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. Retrieved March 30, 2011. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Griner, Delle Donne, Diggins go 1-2-3". espn.go.com. April 15, 2013. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  12. ^ http://www.wnba.com/playerfile/skylar_diggins/bio.html
  13. ^ http://www.und.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/072909aab.html
  14. ^ "TWENTY-SIXTH WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES -- 2011". USA Basketball. Retrieved 22 Oct 2013. 
  15. ^ http://www.wsbt.com/sports/41833927.html[dead link]