Sky Shines in the SpotlightJuly 12, 2013 | Anthony Oliva, WNBA.com
What’s the difference between college and the pros? Why’d you sign with Roc Nation? What’s Jay Z like?
These are all questions Skylar Diggins has already heard countless times in her young career. Immediately after getting drafted No. 3 overall in this year’s WNBA Draft, the rookie out of Notre Dame became one of the most visible stars in the WNBA, thrust into a world where she traded afternoon lectures for TV interviews and group projects for conference calls.
And through it all, Diggins has not been overwhelmed.
When Skylar mentioned the “big conference call,” it was meant as a joke. Partly because it’s a bit idealistic, but partly because Skylar realizes the importance of each and every interview she conducts, no matter how repetitive.
“I don’t mind it,” Diggins said of the media attention. “I kind of welcome it to be honest. It's great, every time you’re in front of camera or something, it’s an opportunity to plug your team, your teammates, your city and everyone that helped you get to where you are and tell a little bit of your story every time.”
Diggins may have been more prepared for this lifestyle than the majority of WNBA players when they enter the league. At Notre Dame, Diggins became a media darling in her own right, and got a taste of the whirlwind that was to come.
“It’s a little crazier being a professional athlete, but I had a lot of practice at Notre Dame and everybody there helped me out adjusting to that,” said Diggins. “I know I’m a direct reflection of my parents and Notre Dame and everyone that’s in my circle and the Tulsa Shock, so (the media obligation) is just a part of it.”
At the time of this interview, Diggins was preparing to play the Los Angeles Sparks on July 11 on ESPN2, a 94-78 Shock loss where Diggins scored a team-high 19 points.
Notre Dame was a regular on ESPN when Skylar was there, so she says the exposure to national television doesn’t faze her.
“I’m used to it at this point,” Diggins said about playing a national TV game. “I’d say I’m a little more anxious. I’m anxious for the game to start, but I don’t think I’m nervous anymore.”
In the end, Skylar says Tulsa just needs wins -- no matter the opponent, no matter where the game is televised.
Skylar approaches national TV games so much like a normal game that she doesn’t even take extra time to get ready or do her nails in preparation for a close up.
“I hope my nails are always right, doesn’t matter TV or not,” Diggins said with a laugh. “You know what I’m saying? I don’t like walking around with busted nails if we don’t have a TV game for months. That’s just an everyday thing. I just try to keep myself together.”
Skylar has more than kept herself together as of late. In fact, as we’ve covered in this diary, the past few months have been a rollercoaster for Skylar.
“It’s been such a huge year for me with all these things happening,” Diggins said. “Me graduating college, getting into the WNBA and being a professional athlete now and then signing with Roc Nation and the opportunities I have there and the great things we’re going to do.”
Skylar’s popularity on and off the court -- must we remind you of her over 400,000 followers on Twitter -- has helped bring new fans to the WNBA and that’s why she has been in such demand with the media.
“It’s been a crazy year,” Diggins said, not immune to the power of an understatement. “Obviously with the new direction the WNBA is going and things like that, and with our draft class having a lot of great college players turning into good players on their respective teams, it’s been a big year for the WNBA.
“It’s definitely the biggest buzz around the WNBA that I’ve heard or experience in a while."
And Skylar is right in the middle of it.
1 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
2 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
3 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
4 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
5 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
6 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
7 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
8 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
9 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
10 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
11 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
12 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
13 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
14 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
15 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
16 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
17 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
18 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
19 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year
20 of 20Skylar's Rookie Year