NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Skylar Diggins, a four-time All-America guard at Notre Dame who led the Fighting Irish to three consecutive NCAA Women’s Final Fours from 2011-13, will be the latest person inducted into Notre Dame’s Ring of Honor when the South Bend native is celebrated during a pregame ceremony Nov. 16 before the Fighting Irish take on Valparaiso at 2 p.m. (ET) inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
A banner honoring Diggins’ number 4 will be raised to the rafters at Purcell Pavilion, where it will hang permanently. Diggins will be the second Fighting Irish women’s basketball player added to Notre Dame’s Ring of Honor following Ruth Riley’s induction in 2010, and the fifth player overall, joining men’s basketball players Austin Carr, Adrian Dantley and Luke Harangody in the prestigious circle.
“I can’t tell you how honored and grateful I am to have been chosen to be part of such an elite group,” Diggins said. “My time at Notre Dame as a student-athlete was an experience I will never forget. I loved being in that gym and everything it represented, and thanks to this amazing and humbling honor, I will never have to leave that gym again!
“My thanks go to the selection committee for their hard work in making this possible,” she added. “I’m also so thankful to my teammates, Coach McGraw and all of our coaches for making the past four years truly a life-changing adventure. Most of all, I have to thank our fans and the people of South Bend, who are absolutely the best in the country. Your support is what makes Notre Dame women’s basketball so incredibly special, and as both current players and all of us alums will agree, we are truly blessed to have you the fans in our corner every day, even long after we take off that Fighting Irish jersey for the last time.”
“We are all incredibly proud and thrilled that Skylar will be inducted into the Ring of Honor,” Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. “She brought so many wonderful and special talents to our program, and was an important piece of what we were able to accomplish for the past four years. She will always remain one of the greatest student-athletes at Notre Dame, not just in our program’s history, but in the history of our University as a whole. Her induction into the Ring of Honor on Nov. 16 will be a day of celebration and we hope all of our amazing Fighting Irish fans will come out to help us make it one Skylar will never forget.”
Beginning in 2010-11, the Notre Dame Department of Athletics annually has honored additional former men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball players who have made distinguished and noteworthy contributions during their careers as student-athletes at the University. A committee that consists of Fighting Irish coaches and administrators regularly meets to determine future inductees.
In April, Diggins completed a remarkable college career that saw her rewrite the Fighting Irish record books, leaving campus as the holder (or co-holder) of no fewer than 32 game, season or career records at Notre Dame. She also ranks among the top five on an astounding 105 of the program's game, season or career charts, including school records for career points (2,357), steals (381), games started (144) and double-figure scoring games (121), just to name a few.
What’s more, Diggins is the only player (of either gender) in Notre Dame basketball history to register 2,000 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists and 300 steals in her career, and one of only six NCAA Division I women’s basketball players since 1999-2000 to reach those impressive marks. She also stands among the top 15 players in BIG EAST Conference history (regular season games only) in four career categories — assists (15th), steals (tied-15th), free throws made (7th) and free throws attempted (11th).
Diggins is the only player in program history to be a four-time All-America selection, earning consensus first-team honors during her final two years to join Riley as the only Fighting Irish cagers ever to pull off that feat. In addition, she broke new ground in the Notre Dame history books as a three-time NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player (2010-Dayton, 2011-Raleigh, 2012-Norfolk), a two-time BIG EAST Player of the Year and a two-time recipient of the Nancy Lieberman Award, given annually to the nation’s top point guard (the past two seasons making her just the third two-time honoree in the award’s history), along with being the 2013 recipient of the Dawn Staley Award.
As a senior in 2012-13, Diggins started all 37 games, leading the BIG EAST in assists (6.1 apg.; also 19th in nation), while ranking fourth in scoring (17.1 ppg.) and third in steals (3.1 spg.; also 18th in nation; school-record 114 steals overall) and fourth in free throw percentage (.814). She also is among the conference's best in assist/turnover ratio (5th - 1.67) and three-point percentage (6th - .362), and she led the team with 33 double-figure scoring games, including 12 20-point outings. Furthermore, she added three double-doubles and her second career triple-double after piling up 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a Feb. 24 win at DePaul.
Once her college career ended in April, Diggins was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the first round of the 2013 WNBA Draft by the Tulsa Shock, becoming the second Fighting Irish player to be a WNBA Draft lottery (top-four) selection in as many years. She went on to become the first Notre Dame player to earn WNBA All-Rookie Team honors after averaging 8.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game as a rookie in 2013, helping Tulsa to its highest win total (11) since the franchise relocated from Detroit in 2010.
Diggins graduated from Notre Dame’s top-ranked Mendoza College of Business in May with her bachelor’s degree in management-entrepreneurship. During her career at the University, she also was a four-time BIG EAST All-Academic Team selection.
The No. 6/7 Fighting Irish will open their 2013-14 season at 1 p.m. (ET) Saturday, playing host to UNC Wilmington to Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame then has a quick turnaround as it faces No. 20/18 Michigan State at 7 p.m. (ET) Monday, also at Purcell Pavilion, with that game to air live on ESPN3.