Current Team: Phoenix Mercury | #4
Draft: 2013 | Notre Dame | 1st round (3rd overall)
Key Accolades: Most Improved Player (2014), All-Star (2014, 2015, 2017, 2018), All-WNBA (2014, 2017, 2018, 2020)
The Down Low
Skylar Diggins-Smith is a perennial All-Star in the WNBA, but she's been a phenom since she was a teenager. She won the National Gatorade Player of the Year in high school, and went on to win the Nancy Lieberman Award for top point guard in the nation twice in college. Now in the league, she is recognized as an elite playmaking point guard, averaging 16 points and almost 5 assists per game over her career.
Oh and remember 2018? When she was an All-Star, made the All-WNBA Second Team, started every game, and averaged 18 points per game with a career-high 6.2 assists? She played the whole season while pregnant. (She said in 2017 that she would like to spend a day in Serena Williams' shoes, and it seems like she partially did.) (If you are not impressed with these athletes you should be.)
After taking off the 2019 season to get back in shape post-pregnancy, Skylar spoke out about the need for better policies and resources for moms in the league. When it came to negotiating the new collective bargaining agreement, Skylar made it a priority to ensure it included support for mothers in the WNBA.
Off the court, Skylar has reached cultural icon status. She's written a children's book. Drake briefly had a very public crush on her. She filmed a commercial with Kobe. She had one of those weird deep fake Hulu commercials. She was the first female athlete to sign with Jay-Z's Roc Nation sports agency and then he bought her a Mercedes? I don't have time to list all of her other sponsorships. She's had multiple songs written about her. (You may have heard of "Skylar Diggins" by Azealia Banks, but may I recommend this bop of the same title from Jayla, a tween from Ohio?) In fact, her name is frequently referenced by rappers. While I am not the right person to judge these things, here are my favorite lyrics:
I am sure I have missed at least half of what Skylar has done. But what should be clear is that the WNBA has been lucky to have Skylar serve as a face of the league for so long. And as fans, we're lucky to get to watch her ball till she falls on the court.
Skylar with the literal ice in her veins:
Know Your Meme
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