Diggins named Naismith National Player of the Year

The awards just keep coming for South Bend Washington's Skylar Diggins.

And this one is huge,

After an illustrious 4-year high school career, including trips to the state championship game each season, Diggins was named the 2009 Naismith National High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

“This means so much because it’s the biggest basketball award a high school athlete can receive,” said Maurice Scott, Skylar's coach and stepdad.

"Throughout her career, Skylar has put in the work and yet remained humble along the way. It’s an amazing accomplishment and sums up her wonderful career.”

Diggins, ranked the number one guard in the country heading into college, will play at Notre Dame next season, where she will also study pre-med.

“We are incredibly proud of Skylar for being chosen as the Naismith National High School Player of the Year,” Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said.

“She has accomplished so much in her high school career, both on and off the court, and we are looking forward to seeing her in an Irish uniform next season.”

Diggins has two more major games to play before suiting up for the Irish. The first is April 1st at the McDonald's All-American game. Diggins, along with Benton Harbror's Destiny Williams, will compete with the very best girls basketball players in the country. It is a 5:30 tipoff on April 1st and the game can be seen national on ESPNU.

Also playing in the game is UConn bound Kelly Faris, who is Skylar's main competition for Miss Indiana Basketball. Faris won a state championship for 2A's Heritage Christian each of her four seasons in high school.

Diggins will play in another national showcase game on April 4th in St. Louis.

Sporting a 3.9 GPA that ranks her 6th in her class of 300, Skylar received the Mental Attitude Award at this year's state championship game, where the Panthers lost to Ben Davis, 71-69.

Diggins showed her worth in the closing minutes of the game, erasing an 11-point deficit in the final 2:43 to tie the game at 69 with 45 seconds left. Skylar scored the last 8 points for the Panthers.

Diggins and Washington won the state championship in 2007.

This season, Skylar averaged a remarkable 29 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists a game. She finished her career with more than 2,700 career points, 3rd all-time in Indiana girls history.

She is also a two-time USA Basketball gold medalist, and started five games at 2008 FIBA U18 Americas Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina, leading the United States to perfect 5-0 record and the gold medal.

George Tech bound center Derrick Favors of South Atlanta High School in Georgia was named the National Boys HS Player of the Year.

Ben Davis' Stan Benge, who led the Giants to the state title win over Diggins and Washington, was the National Girls Coach of the year. The boys coach of the year award went to Oak Hill Academy's Steve Smith.

The four award winners will be honored at the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Naismith Awards banquet on March 23 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta. Among those also being honored that evening are Anne Donovan and Billy Packer for outstanding contribution to women’s and men’s basketball, respectively.

Past Naismith Trophy winners include Lisa Leslie (1990), Chamique Holdsclaw (1995), Diana Taurasi (2000), LeBron James (2003), Dwight Howard (2004) and Greg Oden (2006).


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