With her work ethic and eye-catching game, Skylar Diggins-Smith is coming into her own as one of the WNBA’s finest and a transcendent athlete in the women’s game
The newly-established Dallas Wings franchise is certainly not short of young stars, featuring former WNBA All-Rookie Team awardees such as Aerial Powers, Allisha Gray and Kaela Davis. Despite the excitement building among fans in Dallas however, much of the success hinged on the successful return of its franchise player Skylar Diggins-Smith from an ACL tear suffered while the team was still located in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Fortunately for the team, the 27-year-old Diggins-Smith hardly seemed to miss a step as she hit peak form in no time. After a midway return 2016 WNBA campaign, she was back in full force in the 2017 season as she played every game while averaging career highs in rebounds and assists. Most importantly, the former Notre Dame icon finally broke through and led her team to the playoffs.
Her team’s improvement in spite of their young roster is a testament to Diggins-Smith’s worth ethic and drive, as is the evident strides in her game from year to year. Her lean, 5-foot-9 inch frame belies her presence on the court and her reputation for being a terror to guard. With her sharp handles, she has always had the ability to get to the rack, but her midrange jumper and passing have reached an elite level and she is also a surprisingly effective rebounder for her size.
With her on-court abilities and her demeanor, she has also gained a loyal fan following and is arguably the most popular player in the WNBA. This has earned her numerous endorsement deals with top brands including Nike and a contract with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation sports agency. As one of the few WNBA stars to transcend the hardwood and amass universal appeal, Diggins-Smith has the opportunity to bring the League to its next phase: as a game of stars inspiring young fans all around the world.
Article written by Wong Chin Yi. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the NBA.