July 8, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Skylar Diggins, a four-time All-America selection at Notre Dame from 2009-13 and holder of more than 30 program records, has been selected as a starter for the Western Conference in the 2014 Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) All-Star Game, the league announced Tuesday night. This year's WNBA All-Star Game will be played at 3:30 p.m. (ET) July 19 at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, and will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Diggins, who will be making her first All-Star Game appearance in her second WNBA season playing for the Tulsa Shock, is the first Notre Dame player to earn All-Star honors since 2005, when Ruth Riley ('01) was chosen as the starting center for the Eastern Conference while playing for the Detroit (now Tulsa) Shock.
Diggins was voted a starter for this year's WNBA All-Star Game through a fan balloting process that was coordinated both online (via WNBA.com) and through social media (Twitter and Facebook). The South Bend native finished second in the voting among all Western Conference guards with 17,937 votes trailing only Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi (19,404) and finishing ahead of Minnesota's Seimone Augustus (16,143) and Lindsay Whalen (13,691), as well as Seattle's Sue Bird (8,210), all of whom were members of the victorious 2012 United States Olympic Team and currently join Diggins in the 2014-16 USA Basketball Senior National Team player pool.
Diggins is a prime candidate to be the WNBA's Most Improved Player, having more than doubled her scoring average this season to 21.3 points per game (entering Tuesday's action), second-best in the league. She also is fifth in the WNBA at 5.2 assists per game, making her one of six players in the league to lead her team in both points and assists.
The reserves for the 2014 WNBA All-Star Game will be announced on July 15, with former Notre Dame All-America guard Kayla McBride ('14) in contention for an All-Star nod after ranking fifth in the final voting returns among all Western Conference frontcourt players with 10,192 votes (and virtually even with Los Angeles' Nneka Ogwumike, who had 10,697 votes).
In her rookie season with the San Antonio Stars, McBride (who also is part of the 2014-16 USA Basketball Senior National Team player pool) came into Tuesday's contests ranked third among all league newcomers in scoring (11.2 ppg.) and tops in three-point percentage (.411) among WNBA rookies making at least one trey per game.
For more information on the Notre Dame women's basketball program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women's basketball Twitter pages (@ndwbbsid or @ndwbb), like the program on Facebook (facebook.com/ndwbb) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the "Fan Center" pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
-- Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director