High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Skylar Diggins

POY Alumni: Populating Wooden nominees

March, 8, 2012
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Skylar Diggins, Indiana, POY Alumni, Washington, girlsAssociated PressNotre Dame junior guard and John R. Wooden Award finalist Skylar Diggins captured 2008-09 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year honors and two Gatorade Indiana Girls Basketball Player of the Year awards.
Of the 15 women finalists for this year’s John R. Wooden Award, a majority are former Gatorade Player of the Year honorees --nine in all.

Nominees include three former Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year winners in Notre Dame junior guard Skylar Diggins of Washington (South Bend, Ind.), Stanford senior forward Nneka Ogwumike of Cy-Fair (Cypress, Texas) and Stanford sophomore forward Chiney Ogwumike of Cy-Fair.

Five 2012 Wooden finalists were twice recognized as State Player of the Year during their high school career: Delaware junior wing Elena Delle Donne of Ursuline Academy (Wilmington, Del./2005-06, 2007-08) and Tennessee senior wing Shekinna Stricklen of Morrilton (Morrilton, Ark./2005-06, 2007-08) along with Diggins (2007-09), the elder Ogwumike sister (2006-08) and the only freshman among this year’s finalists, Duke center Elizabeth Williams of Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, Va./2009-11).

Other POY alumni contending for college basketball’s ultimate honor this year include Baylor junior center Brittney Griner of Nimitz (Texas/2008-09), Ohio State senior guard Samantha Prahalis of Commack (Commack, N.Y./2007-08) and Kentucky junior guard A’dia Mathies of Iroquois (Louisville, Ky.).

Last month, Delle Donne, who owns a 3.6 GPA, was named the NCAA Academic All-America of the Year.

POY Alumni: Claiming All-American honors

November, 2, 2011
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POY Alumni: Skylar Digginsfile photo/APNotre Dame junior guard Skylar Diggins is one of four former Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year winners to make the preseason All-America team.
Four of the five members of The Associated Press women's basketball preseason All-America team this fall have something else in common aside from being great players anticipating great seasons.

The top three vote totals (from a 40-member media panel) and four of the top five went to former Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year award winners. Baylor junior center Brittney Griner, the 2008-09 Gatorade Texas POY, became just the eighth player selected unanimously. All seven others in history were also former Gatorade Player of the Year honorees.

Griner led the way on the 2011-12 squad, followed by 2008-09 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year and Notre Dame junior guard Skylar Diggins, who received 37 votes. Stanford senior center Nneka Ogwumike, who earned Gatorade National POY honors in 2007-08, also captured 37 balloters. Rounding out the former POY quartet that populates this year’s AP starting five is Tennessee senior wing Shekinna Stricklen, a two-time Gatorade Arkansas POY (2006-08).

The only non-POY on the AP squad is Miami senior and Rush-Henrietta High (Henrietta, NY) alumnae Shenise Johnson, who was edged in the 2007-08 Gatorade New York POY race by Ohio State senior and All-Big Ten guard Samantha Prahalis -- already the only Buckeye ever to score 1,000 points and pass for 700 assists. As a Commack High (Commack, NY) senior in 2007-08, Prahalis made a good case for herself, averaging 30.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 7.2 steals per game.

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