ND’s Diggins a finalist for Wade AwardPublished 7:09pm Wednesday, March 27, 2013
NOTRE DAME — For the third time in three weeks, Notre Dame senior guard/co-captain Skylar Diggins has been chosen as a finalist for a major national player of the year award, as the Fighting Irish floor general is one of 12 remaining candidates for the 2013 State Farm Wade Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding NCAA Division I women’s basketball player.
The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS), the two organizations that coordinate the award, along with the State Farm Wade Trophy Committee, announced this year’s 12 finalists on Wednesday.
Diggins, who also was named a finalist for the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy less tha a month ago, and was a candidate for all three honors last year, is looking to become the first Notre Dame player to earn the State Farm Wade Trophy, with Ruth Riley the only prior Fighting Irish cager to be chosen as a finalist when she was among the leading candidates for the honor in 2001 (the award went to Missouri State’s Jackie Stiles that season).
Joining Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) on this year’s rundown of State Farm Wade Trophy contenders are: Layshia Clarendon (California), Elena Delle Donne (Delaware), Stefanie Dolson (Connecticut), Brittney Griner (Baylor), Maggie Lucas (Penn State), A’dia Mathies (Kentucky), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Connecticut), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford), Meighan Simmons (Tennessee), Odyssey Sims (Baylor) and Alyssa Thomas (Maryland).
The 2013 finalists were selected by a vote of the State Farm Wade Trophy Committee, whose members are comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists and administrators. This committee also will select the recipient of the 2013 State Farm Wade Trophy from the 10-member NCAA Division I State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team, with the recipient to be announced during the WBCA Awards Show at 6 p.m. April 8 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center’s New Orleans Theater in New Orleans. The event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four.
Diggins is the first Notre Dame women’s basketball player to be both a four-time WBCA all-region selection and a two-time Big East Conference Player of the Year, staking her claim to both accolades earlier this month. She also was a unanimous first-team all-conference honoree for the third year in a row, joining Riley as the only Fighting Irish women’s basketball players to pull off that feat. She also is one of seven final nominees for the Nancy Lieberman Award (going to the nation’s top point guard, an honor she received last season), a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, and is a midseason candidate for the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Player of the Year award.
Diggins has started all 34 games this season and leads the Big East in assists (5.9 apg.), while ranking fourth in scoring (16.8 ppg.) and third in both steals (3.0 spg.; school record-tying 102 steals overall) and free throw percentage (.821).