When Skylar Diggins and Brittney Griner were selected with the third and first picks in the 2013 WNBA Draft, it was the beginning of a new era. Diggins and Griner each had huge fan bases in college, Skylar at Notre Dame and Griner with Baylor. Together, the pair are moving the WNBA forward.
After averaging 8.5 points on 33 percent shooting in her rookie year, Diggins has exploded on the court in her second campaign, scoring 20.3 points on 43 percent shooting while dishing out 5.1 assists per game. I asked Diggins what helped her improve so much in the off season. “Just working out, getting better, putting in a lot of work in the off season, great coaches, teammates helping me out. My credit goes to all of them.” The humble Diggins also credited her backcourt companion Odyssey Sims with freeing her up to score more. “You have Odyssey in the game with me. She takes a lot of pressure off of me on both ends. We’re able to switch back and forth between the one and two so it gives me different looks.”
Meanwhile, in her second season, Griner has increased her per-game averages in points, rebounds, blocks, field goal and free throw percentage, and more. But we talked about her impact on the game off the court, and how she handles that challenge. “You learn how to embrace it honestly. In this age you have a market and you market yourself and use that popularity to draw more fans, bring fans that we had in college to our league. I think myself and Skylar … we’re really helping out with that.” With the popularity that both are enjoying on and off the court, that will only lead to building a bigger fan base for each, and with that, a bigger fan base for the WNBA.