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Skylar the Sooner

May 23, 2013 | Anthony Oliva, WNBA.com

Last week, Skylar Diggins talked about how she strives to be a role model.

This week, after an unfortunate and tragic turn of events in her now home state of Oklahoma, she is putting those words into action.

My heart goes out to everyone affected with the tornados. - Skylar Diggins
In the wake of the horrific tornado that struck less than two hours away from the BOK Center, Diggins, despite living in Tulsa for less than a month, is eager to help her community any way she can.

“I’m here now. I live here,” said Diggins, who grew up in Indiana and who said she didn’t even know what tornado season was before moving to Oklahoma. “If I didn’t live here, I would still sympathize with those people, but now that I’m here, I have the opportunity to go down there and directly make a difference.”

That mission will start in earnest on Tuesday -- after the team's matchup with the Washington Mystics the day prior -- when Diggins and the rest of the Tulsa Shock go to Moore, OK, the heaviest hit city, to provide support.

“We just want to go down there and be there for our fellow Oklahoma citizens and the people of Moore that have been through so much,” Diggins said.

The team is taking donations and donating items themselves in their effort to “lend a helping hand.” Donations can also be made at www.redcross.org or by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

One of the highest profile Oklahoma citizens that pledged aid was Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, who graciously donated $1 Million to the relief effort.

“What KD did was incredible,” Diggins said. “He plays in Oklahoma and that’s not far from Moore -- and some people in Oklahoma City were affected too -- so I think that means a lot to him to support his community like they support him. And I don’t think it’s about the money. I think he did it because he’s trying to help and he’s genuine. He lives in this community, these people are his fans, and I think it’s so important to see how he’s giving back.”

Skylar, much like her counterpart in OKC, wants to be a source of hope in the community.

“I want to be a positive role model,” Diggins said. “I want to be very active in the community. I want to be available. I want to be visible. I want to meet people. I want to go to the Boys and Girls Club. I want to help with kids and just do anything I can to be out there and give back to the community that’s been so supportive of me since I’ve been here.”

It’s only been a few weeks, but Diggins is already identifying herself with the city of Tulsa and the state of Oklahoma -- even attending a Notre Dame alumni event in Tulsa where Diggins said it was, “inspiring to see how many people were passionate about the city of Tulsa.”

“I haven’t met anyone I haven’t liked here,” Diggins said. “Everyone has been so nice and welcoming. It’s a great community to be around.“

And with that extended community in a time of need, Diggins is happy to answer the call.

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