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Diggins 9: Headband Nation


June 28, 2013 | Anthony Oliva,

In Game 6 of the NBA Finals, LeBron James lost his headband and subsequently went on to orchestrate a now legendary comeback to avoid elimination.

Twitter exploded...for Skylar Diggins.

I got so many tweets from that, said Diggins, who famously wears a headband during games and is the unofficial queen of #HeadbandNation. More than 200 for sure.

Diggins, who started wearing her trademark tie headbands as a sophomore at Notre Dame, says that she would, from time to time, take off her headband or change it in the middle of the game if she felt something wasnt going right.

Everyone was saying (LeBron) pulled a Sky Diggs, Diggins recalled. Theyre like, whyd you take Sky Diggs move? I thought that was really funny.

I wish I played like LeBron when I took my headband off.

What started as a simple form of expression for Skylar has blossomed into an identifiable characteristic.

I wanted to do something different, Diggins said. I tried the wristband thing my freshman year and some other stuff and I didnt like it. I tried a sleeve and I didnt like it. And then I noticed the tie headband. I had seen some players wear a type of tie headband and stuff like that, but I started wearing them and people started noticing me for that style.

As Skylars and Notre Dames profile rapidly rose as a result of deep NCAA Tournament runs, Skylar and her stylish and girly headbands started to become synonymous.

If I didnt wear it, people would let me know, like, wheres it at? and Im like shoot this might really become a thing, DIggins said. It kind of blew up. I had different colors. I have 11 different styles or something crazy like that. And by my senior I started seeing all the girls in the crowd wearing them.

Diggins says she has easily gone through over 100 headbands in the past few years, partly because she has made it commonplace to throw her headband into the stands after a game, creating one of sports most coveted, sweaty souvenirs. Skylar, a Nike athlete, also received some specialty headbands from Nike  ones that show off her personality, like, of course, a chocolate milk themed one.

She now hangs these in a case in her apartment.

As for her favorite headband? That was one she wore when she was at Notre Dame and played Ohio State on an aircraft carrier in November of 2012.

I had a camoflauge headband for the troops and the veterans, Diggins said. Danielle Green, she was a womens basketball player at Notre Dame and she lost her arm in battle, so it was a tribute to her and the veterans when we played on the air craft carrier.

With all the styles and variations of her headbands, its important to keep them organized. When asked if her headbands are displayed like ties on a tie rack in a mans closest, Diggins laughed and said, Im embarrassed to say it is like that. Just like that. 

Skylar, who could have never predicted the popularity of the headbands when she first started wearing them, says the end result has been the best case scenario for her new fashion endeavor.

I know I didnt start the trend, but I think it became a little popular once I started putting it on, Diggins said. The Headband Nation thing went crazy and now I see hundreds of girls all over the country who will come out and have a tie headband on -- at least 10 or 20 every game for sure.

And dont think that Diggins, who seems as adept handling business matters of the court as she does handing out assists (where shes currently third in the league averaging 5.3 a game), has not been thinking of expanding her brand via her most famous accessory.

Im working on big things for headbands, Diggins said. My dream is hopefully, one day, we can start putting them out there for my fans to buy, like a signature Sky Digg headband. Thats what people were calling it anyway, so hopefully my dream is to give something for younger girls to wear -- the actual Sky Digg headband.

Skylar also wanted to send a message to her fellow members of #HeadbandNation.

"Thanks for the support," Diggins said. "I appreciate it so much. I love my fans and its great how they support me wherever I go.

Look forward to the future of headband nationcoming soon."