Skylar diggins dating kevin durant, a difficult transition
One of the most hyped rookies in recent memory was wilting under the Tulsa sun. Diggins was accustomed to playing in front of sell-out crowds every night at Notre Dame, but attendance in Tulsa has been sparse—as it is in many other WNBA arenas.
The camera lights flash, and Diggins displays a perfect smile.
Skylar Diggins Pictures
She doesn't seem to know where else to put them as a photographer nearby click click clicks away with his camera. Diggins also worked on what she calls her "Steve Nash finishes," finishing at the rim with either hand and jumping off either foot, just like her favorite NBA point guard.
This contributed to her low shooting percentage. But there is more work ahead. In addition to her point and assist totals skyrocketing, her field goal percentage jumped to 42 percent, 10 points higher than the previous season. As a smaller point guard who darts to the hole, weaving in and out of traffic, Diggins realized that her frame was not strong enough to deal with the physicality of the professional game.
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The spotlight has taken some getting used to for Diggins, though it's far from the only adjustment she's had to make on her journey to Oklahoma.
She averaged just 8 points per game and shot 32 percent from the field. The result of all this work was the type of season everyone initially expected from Diggins. But Diggins' play as a rookie with the Shock was pedestrian at best.
She asks, "Was that good? Throughout the shoot, Diggins tries a myriad of poses, but somehow her hands keep winding up at the center of her body. She says, "It's bandsaw blades dealers in bangalore dating grown woman's league, so I had to get a grown woman's body.
Skylar Diggins + Kevin Durant on SportsCenter
She's on the court, challenging her publicist to a game of one-on-one. Defensively, WNBA teams noticed Diggins' propensity to drive to the hoop with her left hand, and during her rookie season they often forced her to go the opposite way.
A Difficult Transition Diggins chalks up her difficult transition to lack of familiarity with new teammates. It's kind of like, 'Hi, nice to meet you. Eventually, she finds the right look, clutching a basketball above her bicep as it rests against her shoulder. Drafted third overall in by the Tulsa Shock after a decorated career at Notre Dame, Diggins seemed poised to take the league by storm.
Let's get on the court and play. The publicist, who's wearing heels, declines. The matchups between the Chicago Sky and Griner's Phoenix Mercury the eventual champions drewviewers—an increase of 91 percent over the previous year.
She was the Fighting Irish's all time leading scorer; she set a school record for steals during her senior season; and she appeared in the Final Four all four of her years in school.
It's a grown woman's league, so I had to get a grown woman's body. She needed the confidence to do things she didn't think she could do. Diggins knew neither her play nor her team's performance were good enough. Whatever I can do to promote the league and its longevity, I'm going to do that.
So she spent almost every day in the gym training her core strength and balance. She was the first female athlete to sign with Roc Nation, Jay-Z's sports-marketing venture, whose client list boasts superstars like Kevin Durant and Robinson Cano.
When her manager pokes fun at her stance in one of the pictures, she laughs nervously.
But the publicist stands firm. The shoot takes place in the middle of a month July in which Diggins is enjoying a phenomenal sophomore season of professional basketball, averaging Her assist totals were half of what they were during her senior season in South Bend.
Diggins has other commitments today, and she still has a flight to catch. She heads back to the locker room with an arm around her publicist, head cocked back in laughter. Before each game this year, she warmed up with stationary ball-handling drills, bouncing two basketballs out in front, then at her sides; dribbling one ball high and the other one low; and working on her crossover.
She also used kettlebells and speed ropes to add muscle. Off the Court As Diggins' game improved, so did her visibility off the court. She also performed drills to build coordination with her right hand, both when stationary and on the move, so she could better handle professional-level defensive pressure.
It's probably for the best. She enlisted the help of Pat "The Roc" Robinson, a former member of the And 1 "Streetball" collective, who put her through a plethora of intense ball handling drills.
Rick Freeman, trainer and founder of RIX Fitness, who began working with Diggins after her rookie year, says, "My goal was to get her stronger without packing on unnecessary pounds. Finally, she perfected a quicker release on her jump shot, practicing a quick dribble move before rapidly getting her shot in the air from five different spots on the court.