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    She Got Game: Skylar Diggins Knows What She Wants

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    Notre Dame women's basketball junior point guard Skylar Diggins was recently featured in The New York Times. Here's a look at her interview with Andrew Goldman.

    As a high-school basketball player in South Bend, Ind., you were considered a phenom in the vein of LeBron James. But LeBron made $4 million in his first season in the N.B.A. The top W.N.B.A. salary is about $105,000. Does this depress you?
    If it's about money, you shouldn't play.

    But men's college basketball stars can envision making a fortune afterward. Your dream path isn't as clear.
    Do you think we don't know that we don't make a lot in the league? We can't sit on the edge of the bench waving a towel and get paid $400,000, so we have to make sure we come up with a strong Plan B. Right now I'm in business-management entrepreneurship in one of the country's top undergrad business programs. This summer, if everything goes right, I'll be interning with espnW. Eventually maybe I'll get into sports commentating.

    The N.C.A.A. makes a fortune. It also requires athletes to sign away their likenesses in perpetuity without pay. Does this bother you?
    When I see these people walking around with my jersey on, I'm like, Where does that money go? But I'm living the life. As high as the tuition is, I probably wouldn't be able to go here as a regular student. So anything that's good for Notre Dame is good for me and our program.

    You frequently change your hairstyle at halftime, depending on the kind of game you're having. What's that about?
    If I had a bad first half, I'll come back after halftime, and you'll see a bun or a fan ponytail. When my hair goes up, that means it's time to get down and dirty -- I must have been messing around in the first half, and I'm just a wild child now.

    I never saw the bun as a predatory hairstyle.
    Maybe not to you. Maybe not to anybody else. But I know what it means.

    People generalize that women are the more empathetic sex. Ever felt bad after stealing the ball?
    Never. I'm not very good with mercy.

    You took Notre Dame's loss to Texas A&M in last year's national championship game particularly hard. What do you think about when you replay that game in your head?
    I think of 15:52. That's how much time was on the clock when we were up by 7 and they made their comeback. I should have had better game management. I'm the point guard, that's my job. It could be 100 factors, but to this day, I won't let anybody else tell me that. I know. Because I was out there playing.

    You were criticized in the press for leaving the court before the traditional postgame handshake.
    I don't regret that. I have relationships with those A&M girls, I told them congratulations. I just didn't stay after for the confetti dropping and them diving on each other. Do you know what it's like to lose a national championship game?

    I certainly do not. When people see a young talent like yours, they envision an overbearing stage parent. How much were you pushed by your stepfather, who coached you in different capacities through high school?
    It was kind of the other way around. I knew he had the keys to the gym, and I would drag him out of bed early, I mean early, and I would be at the gym for six hours every day. He once asked me: "Are you sure this is what you want to do? Are you willing to put the work in?" I said, "Yes." And from then on we have had a very, very close bond.

    Your mother ran an incredibly strict house.
    My mom, she doesn't play.

    I heard there was a permanent ban on the word "can't." And that she'd insist on getting the license plates and cellphone numbers of any suitors. She also demanded you sign a contract prohibiting anyone else from driving your car.
    I signed it when I was a sophomore. It was typed. No joke, it might still be in my glove compartment. And if my mom doesn't like a guy, he's not going to make it very far.

    Considering Notre Dame is in your hometown, I'm surprised you didn't decide to take off to Stanford.
    If I went to Stanford, I promise you, my mom would have moved there.

    INTERVIEW HAS BEEN CONDENSED AND EDITED.

    - Andrew Goldman

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