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Diggins 11: Sky Shines in the Spotlight

Sky Shines in the Spotlight

July 12, 2013 | Anthony Oliva,

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.

At a certain point you just get used to the camera being in your face and answering questions, Diggins said. You pretty much answer the same questions over and over again. Sometimes I just wish we could have one big conference call and answer those questions.

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.

Every game is like a playoff game, Game 7, for us, Diggins said. Were trying to get to a point now where we can make the playoffs and if we want to do that, we have to go out and take some games from teams.

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.

Why not?

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.