Dallas Wings guard Skylar Diggins-Smith has earned the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award for her extraordinary work in the community in 2017 and the most recent offseason, the WNBA announced on July 19.
The award, which is named in honor of WNBA legend and Hall of Famer Dawn Staley, recognizes a player who reflects Staley’s spirit, leadership, charitable efforts, love for the game and inspirational presence in the community.
“Skylar understands the importance of empowering youth to reach their full potential,” said WNBA President Lisa Borders. “A deep commitment to the community helps make her an exceptional ambassador for our game.”
Diggins-Smith, a three-time WNBA All-Star selection, is being honored for her support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and her positive impact on youth basketball.
In May 2017, Diggins-Smith was inducted into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Fame. During the ceremony, she recalled how her experience at a Boys & Girls Club in South Bend, Ind., helped her gain an appreciation for community service.
Diggins-Smith has worked extensively with a Boys & Girls Club in Dallas. Diggins-Smith served as a coach in a basketball game between the children and staff, and she also hosted a surprise private screening of Black Panther for a group of kids.
“My passion to be involved in the community comes from my parents and my stepdad,” said Diggins-Smith. “They were always so involved. Through them, I learned the importance of being outgoing and giving back.”
“As an alumnus of the Boys & Girls Club, Skylar has dedicated herself to being a champion for children,” said Staley, who serves as head coach of the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team and the USA Basketball Women’s National Team. “Her commitment to ensuring that the Boys & Girls Club is a positive place for kids and teens gives them an opportunity for a brighter future.”
Diggins-Smith also plays an active role in youth basketball through her Shoot 4 the Sky camps and her support for the Sky Diggs Soldiers, who will represent the Midwest Region in the inaugural Jr. NBA World Championship in August. The team of elite 13- and 14-year-old girls is coached by Diggins-Smith’s stepdad.
The Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award is presented annually. A designated committee selected Diggins-Smith as the winner from a group of nominated WNBA players. The WNBA will make a $10,000 donation to the South Bend Venues Parks and Arts Foundation on behalf of Diggins-Smith.
About the WNBA
The WNBA – which features 12 teams and is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world – is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity. The league, which counts Verizon as its leaguewide marquee partner, tipped off its 22nd season on May 18, 2018.
Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle, increase breast and women’s health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education. For more information about the WNBA, visit www.WNBA.com.