NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Former Notre Dame All-Americans Skylar Diggins (’13) and Devereaux Peters (’11) have made the opening day roster for their respective Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) teams and will represent the Fighting Irish when the league opens its 17th season this weekend.
Diggins, a first-round draft pick (third overall) by the Tulsa Shock last month, will make her professional debut at 7 p.m. (ET) Saturday when Tulsa opens its 2013 regular season slate against the Atlanta Dream at Phillips Arena in Atlanta.
Two days later, Diggins will play her first official home game when the Shock welcome the Washington Mystics to the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., for a 3 p.m. (ET) Memorial Day matinee that will be televised live to a national cable audience on ESPN2.
Meanwhile, Peters prepares to begin her second season with the Minnesota Lynx, having helped the Twin Cities franchise reach the WNBA Finals during her rookie campaign. Peters appeared in 30 regular season games (starting twice) for the Lynx last season, averaging 5.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game with a .560 field goal percentage. She also saw time in all nine of Minnesota’s WNBA playoff games, averaging 1.3 points and 1.8 rebounds per night.
Peters and the Lynx will not tip off their 2013 season until the league’s first full weekend of action, opening up at 8 p.m. (ET) June 1 against the Connecticut Sun at the Target Center in Minneapolis. That game will be televised to a regional cable audience on Fox Sports North.
This season marks the eighth time in 13 years that Notre Dame will have multiple alums on WNBA opening day rosters. Once Diggins officially takes the floor in a regular season game, the Fighting Irish will have had 11 alums suit up for WNBA teams, a list that includes current associate coach and 1997 graduate Beth Cunningham (with the Washington Mystics in 2000) and assistant coach/recruiting coordinator and 2000 graduate Niele Ivey (who played for the Indiana Fever, Detroit Shock and Phoenix Mercury from 2001-05).
Local Notre Dame fans will have a handful of opportunities to see these former Fighting Irish greats in person during the 2013 WNBA season. Diggins and her Tulsa squad will visit the Chicago Sky on June 2 (6 p.m. ET at Allstate Arena in suburban Rosemont, Ill.) and will play the Indiana Fever on June 28 (7 p.m. ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis).
Peters also will play in the area twice this season, leading Minnesota at Indiana on July 11 (special 11 a.m. ET midweek tipoff) and at Chicago on Aug. 11 (5 p.m. ET).
The Notre Dame women’s basketball office is coordinating bus trips for several of the games featuring Diggins and Peters in Chicago and Indianapolis — call (574) 631-5420 for more information.
The Fighting Irish women’s basketball alums also will make five national television appearances during the upcoming season, according to the broadcast schedule released by the league. Those games are as follows (all times Eastern):
Monday, May 27 at 3 p.m. — Washington at Tulsa (ESPN2)
Tuesday, July 2 at 8 p.m. — Tulsa at Connecticut (ESPN2)
Tuesday, July 9 at 8 p.m. — Atlanta at Minnesota (ESPN2)
Thursday, July 11 at 9 p.m. — Los Angeles at Tulsa (ESPN2)
Saturday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. — Indiana at Minnesota (ESPN2)
Additional games may be televised through local or regional broadcast packages around the country. Furthermore, all games not schedules for ABC, ESPN or NBA TV broadcasts (or played opposite games airing on those outlets) will be streamed live on the official WNBA web site (WNBA.com), with fans charged a one-time $14.99 membership fee to view all webcasts during the 2013 season.