Skylar Diggins-Smith

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Skylar Diggins-Smith
Skylar Diggins-Smith.jpg
Diggins-Smith in 2017
No. 4 – Phoenix Mercury
PositionPoint guard
Personal information
Born (1990-08-02) August 2, 1990 (age 31)
South Bend, Indiana
Listed height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Listed weight145 lb (66 kg)
Career information
High schoolWashington (South Bend, Indiana)
CollegeNotre Dame (2009–2013)
WNBA draft2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3rd overall
Selected by the Tulsa Shock
Playing career2013–Present
Career history
20132019Tulsa Shock / Dallas Wings
2020–presentPhoenix Mercury
Career highlights and awards
Stats at

Skylar Kierra Diggins-Smith (born August 2, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Mercury in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Diggins was drafted third 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. 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.

Early life[edit]

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

High school career[edit]

Diggins-Smith was four-year varsity basketball letter winner at Washington High School in South Bend, where the Panthers had a combined record of 102–7.[2] Diggins-Smith led the Panthers to state championship games, including Washington's title-winning season of 2007and 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. She received national honors including the Naismith Prep Player of the Year, Gatorade National Player of the Year, Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year, and Miss Indiana Basketball. Diggins-Smith 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 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.[1]In the March 30, 2009, issue of Sports Illustrated, she was part of its Faces in the Crowd segment.[5] Diggins-Smith chose Notre Dame over Stanford, but was able to make friends with Stanford alum Candice Wiggins after visiting the university.

College career[edit]

Notre Dame (2009–2013)[edit]

Freshman season[edit]

As a freshman, Diggins-Smith 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-Smith 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[edit]

Diggins-Smith 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-Smith 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-Smith 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-Smith 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-Smith 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-Smith 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[edit]

Diggins-Smith started all 39 games, averaging career-high 16.8 points, 5.7 assists and 2.6 steals per game and became the first Fighting Irish player and just the fourth NCAA Division I player in the past decade (since 2001–02) to register 600 points, 200 assists and 100 steals in a single season. She set a school record with 102 steals, while her 222 assists were third-most on the Notre Dame single-season list, and her 657 points ranked fourth on the school's single-season chart. She was the only player to be ranked in the top five in the Big East in three of five major statistical categories, leading in both assists (5.7 apg. – 16th in nation) and steals (2.6 spg. – 55th in nation), and fourth in scoring (16.8 ppg. – 70th in nation). She also posted a conference-best 2.16 assist-turnover ratio (10th in nation), and ranked among the top 10 in the Big East in free throw percentage (9th – .786) and field goal percentage (tied-10th – .500; 35th in nation).

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[edit]

In her final year, Diggins-Smith started in all 37 games, averaging a career-high 17.1 ppg, 6.1 apg, 3.5 rpg. and 3.1 spg., with three double-doubles and one triple-double. She set a school record with 114 stealso, while a career-high 225 assists were third-most for one season in program history. Diggins-Smith scored in double figures 33 times, including 12 20-point games (both team highs), and posted a team-best 10 "5–5–5" games this season (at least 5 in three of five major statistical categories) 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. In the Big East, she was fourth in free throw percentage (.814) and scoring, fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.67) and sixth in three-point percentage (.362). At the end of the regular season, Diggins-Smith 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-Smith 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, and came up with decisive steal with eight seconds left in a tie game, then weaved through three Connecticut defenders before passing off to Natalie Achonwa for a game-winning layup with 1.8 seconds remaining. In the NCAA Tournament, Notre Dame earned a 1 seed as Diggins-Smith led them easily over Tennessee-Martin, Kansas, and won the Norfolk Regional final defeating No. 5 Duke as Diggins-Smith 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-Smith was named the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year for the second straight year.

Diggins-Smith is the only Notre Dame basketball player (either gender) and 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. Diggins-Smith finished her career as the all-time Notre Dame leading scorer with 2,357 points. She also holds 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 is ranked second in school history for career assists, field goals made, field goals attempted and games played. Diggins-Smith is the only Notre Dame player to earn the Nancy Lieberman Award (nation's top point guard) and one of only three players in the award's history to claim the honor twice.

Notre Dame statistics[edit]


  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 37 631 42.3 36.2 81.4 3.5 6.1 3.0 0.7 17.1
Career Notre Dame 150 2357 44.8 35.0 77.8 3.7 5.0 2.5 0.6 15.7

Professional career[edit]

Diggins-Smith playing in the 2014 NBA All-Star Celebrity game (Michael B. Jordan also pictured)

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

Diggins-Smith 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-Smith 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-Smith passed former guard Deanna Nolan for the most points in a Shock season with 683 points.[14] Diggins-Smith won the 2014 WNBA Most Improved Player Award.[15]

Diggins-Smith in 2018

On June 28, 2015, Diggins-Smith 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-Smith 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]

Diggins-Smith is one of only a few WNBA All-Stars who do not play overseas during the off-season.

After recovering from a torn ACL injury, Diggins-Smith 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-Smith 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-Smith would play all 34 games of the season and return to peak form. She scored a season-high 30 points along with a franchise record 7 three-pointers in an 81–69 win over the San Antonio Stars.[18] Diggins-Smith would then be voted into the 2017 WNBA All-Star Game. Diggins-Smith 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-Smith scored 15 points in a losing effort to the Washington Mystics of the first round elimination game.

On June 8, 2018, Diggins-Smith scored a new career-high of 35 points along with 12 rebounds in an 89–83 victory over the Indiana Fever.[19] Diggins-Smith would be voted into the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game for her fourth all-star game appearance. Diggin-Smith would averaged a new career-high in assists. The Wings finished 15–19 with the number 8 seed in the league. They would lose in the first round elimination game yet again by a score of 101–83 to the Phoenix Mercury.

In 2019, Diggins-Smith opted to sit out the entire season after giving birth to her first child in April. Without Diggins-Smith, the Wings missed out on the playoffs with a disappointing 10–24 record. Days after the end of the 2019 season, Diggins-Smith confirmed on her twitter account that she had played the entire 2018 season while pregnant without telling anybody in response to the negative criticism she received for not playing. She had also mentioned that she had took time away from basketball due to postpartum depression and expressed her displeasure with the Dallas Wings organization for their lack of support during her absence.[20][21]

In January 2020, Diggins-Smith announced that she wouldn't return and play for the Dallas Wings.[22] In February 2020, Diggins-Smith was acquired by the Phoenix Mercury in a sign-and-trade deal for 2020 draft picks and a future first-round pick.[23][24] The 2020 season was delayed and shortened to 22 games in a bubble at IMG Academy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Diggins-Smith made her return on July 25, 2020, scoring 14 points along with 6 assists in a 99–76 loss to the Las Vegas Aces. On September 9, 2020, Diggins-Smith scored a season-high 33 points in a 100–95 overtime win against the Connecticut Sun.[25] The Mercury finished 13–9 as the number 5 seed. In the first round elimination game, the Mercury won 85–84 against the defending champion Washington Mystics. In the second round elimination game, the Mercury were defeated by the Minnesota Lynx by a final score of 80–79.

WNBA career statistics[edit]

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

Regular season[edit]

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
2018 Dallas 32 32 34.1° .403 .297 .839 3.3 6.2 1.4 0.5 17.9
2020 Phoenix 22° 22° 30.7 .474 .397 .900 3.3 4.2 0.9 0.5 17.7
2021 Phoenix 32° 32° 32.5 .450 .370 .818 3.2 5.3 1.1 0.8 17.7
Career 8 years, 2 teams 222 209 31.8 .415 .329 .848 2.8 4.9 1.3 0.5 16.3


2017 Dallas 1 1 34.6 .333 .200 1.000 2.0 3.0 0.0 0.0 15.0
2018 Dallas 1 1 37.6 .421 .167 1.000 2.0 7.0 0.0 0.0 23.0
2020 Phoenix 2 2 36.5 .303 .231 .900 5.0 5.5 0.5 0.0 16.0
2021 Phoenix 11 11 34.9 .368 .311 .741 3.6 6.1 1.0 0.5 13.9
Career 3 years, 2 teams 15 15 35.3 .360 .282 .822 3.7 5.9 0.8 0.3 14.9

USA Basketball[edit]

Diggins-Smith 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-Smith played on the 2009 USA U19 World Championship Team that posted an 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-Smith 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.[26]

In September 2014, Diggins-Smith 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.[27]


Diggins-Smith 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.[28]

Diggins-Smith also hosts "Shoot 4 The Sky" camps around the world for boys and girls grades 2–12.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Diggins-Smith has a degree from Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business.[28] In June 2016, Diggins got engaged to her longtime boyfriend Daniel Smith who is a former Clay High School and Notre Dame wide receiver.[30] The couple got married in May 2017, and she changed her last name to Diggins-Smith.[31] The couple had their child in April 2019.[32]

Endorsement deals[edit]

In 2013, Diggins-Smith signed with Roc Nation Sports, becoming the first female athlete to do so.[33][34] That same year, she also signed an endorsement deal with Nike.[35] In 2014, Diggins-Smith signed an endorsement deal with Bodyarmor SuperDrink.[36]

Awards and honors[edit]


  • 5× WNBA All-Star (2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2021)
  • 2× All-WNBA First Team (2014, 2017)
  • 2× All-WNBA Second Team (2018, 2020)
  • WNBA Most Improved Player (2014)


High School[edit]

  • 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[37]
  • 2009 South Bend Tribune Girls' Athlete of the Year (covers all female high school athletes in all sports throughout newspaper's coverage area)



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


  1. ^ a b Retrieved July 30, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Skylar Diggins Bio". Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  3. ^ "Garrett Gilbert and Skylar Diggins Named Gatorade High School Athletes of the Year". Reuters. July 15, 2009. Archived from the original on September 8, 2012.
  4. ^ "WBCA High School All-America Game Box Scores". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  5. ^ "Skylar Diggins – WNBA Draft". WNBA. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  6. ^ "Diggins named All-American by WBCA; 3rd Irish player ever".
  7. ^ Byrne, Pete. "Skylar Diggins an All-American". Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  8. ^ Ceaveland, Roger. "UConn upset by Notre Dame in Final Four". Republican-American (Waterbury, CT). Archived from the original on April 10, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  9. ^ "Notre Dame stuns two-time defending champion UConn in national semifinal". Retrieved April 3, 2011.
  10. ^ Rallo, Curt. "Notre Dame women's basketball: Diggins on All-American third team". Archived from the original on July 6, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  11. ^ "NCAA Statistics". Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  12. ^ "Griner, Delle Donne, Diggins go 1–2–3". April 15, 2013. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  14. ^ Player Bio Archived February 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Tulsa's Skylar Diggins Named 2014 Most Improved Player Presented by Samsung". Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  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. ^ Diggins-Smith has career-high 35 points, Wings win[dead link]
  20. ^ Skylar Diggins-Smith Reveals She Played Entire 2018 Season While Pregnant
  21. ^ Skylar Diggins-Smith Says She Played Entire 2018 WNBA Season While Pregnant
  22. ^ Skylar Diggins-Smith says she does not plan on returning to Dallas
  23. ^ Skylar Diggins-Smith Traded to Mercury; Joins Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi
  24. ^ Phoenix Mercury Acquire Skylar Diggins-Smith in Sign-and-Trade Deal
  25. ^ Mercury's Diggins-Smith ties game with prayer at buzzer leading to OT win over Sun
  26. ^ "Twenty-Sixth World University Games – 2011". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  27. ^ Zaccardi, Nick (February 19, 2015). "Skylar Diggins reflects on getting cut from World Championships team".
  28. ^ a b "Skylar Diggins Boyfriend, Basketball Camp, Feet, Ethnicity – Facts You Need to Know". Latino Post. February 21, 2015.
  29. ^ "Shock guard Skylar Diggins sets basketball camp for April 26".
  30. ^ WNBA Superstar Skylar Diggins Is Married to Daniel Smith: See Her Engagement Ring!
  31. ^ "Skylar Diggins has a new name and a new jersey". ESPNW. May 2, 2017.
  32. ^ Skylar Diggins-Smith Played an Entire WNBA Season Pregnant Without 'Telling a Soul'
  33. ^ Some of the Best Women Endorsement Deals
  34. ^ How Skylar Diggins became a success story for Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports
  35. ^ Skylar Diggins lands Nike Air Force 1 endorsement deal
  36. ^ WNBA Superstar Skylar Diggins Becomes BODYARMOR Endorser
  37. ^ "Diggins is 2009 Miss Indiana Basketball". Archived from the original on July 22, 2009. Retrieved August 10, 2009.