Dallas Wings guard Skylar Diggins-Smith has earned the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award for her work in the community throughout 2017-2018, the WNBA announced.
The award, named in honor of WNBA Hall of Famer Dawn Staley, recognizes the player who reflects Staley's "spirit, leadership, charitable, effects, 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, is being honored for her support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and positive impact on youth basketball.
Diggins-Smith was inducted into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Fame last year.
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, serving 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.
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“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 is currently 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 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.