Wings guard Diggins-Smith named to All-WNBA First Team

Dallas Wings all-star guard Skylar Diggins-Smith, has been named to the 2017 All-WNBA First Team, the WNBA announced Friday. She is one of four who was named to the First Team.

“I’m thrilled to see Skylar receive this well-deserved honor,” Wings President and CEO Greg Bibb said. “Through hard work, determination and will, Skylar returned to an elite level of play in 2017 and has re-claimed her position as one of the WNBA’s best players. The Dallas Wings future is bright and we are fortunate to have Skylar leading the way in 2018 and beyond.”

Diggins-Smith was named to the All-WNBA First Team for the second time. She averaged 18.5 points (seventh in the WNBA) and a career-high 5.8 assists (fourth in the WNBA) while leading the league in minutes (34.2 mpg). The Dallas All-Star also attempted a WNBA-high 218 free throws and shot 89.4 percent from the free throw line (sixth in the league).

The game always gives back to those who are true the game, and Skylar has put in the time and energy towards making the Dallas Wings one of the most successful teams in the league,” said head coach Fred Williams. “Skylar’s amazing athletic ability has put her on scope to score and assist her teammates this past season. I’m very pleased to see that the WNBA has recognized Skylar as one of the elite players in the league. We look forward to another great season next year with Skylar leading the way”.

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The All-WNBA First Team votes came from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. She is joined on the First Team by Minnesota Lynx Center Sylvia Fowles, New York Liberty forward Tina Charles, Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker and Lynx guard Maya Moore.

The Second Team includes two Los Angeles players, forward Nneka Ogwumike and guard Chelsea Gray, as well as two members of the Phoenix Mercury, center Brittney Griner and guard Diana Taurasi. Connecticut Sun forward Jonquel Jones completes the Second Team and joins Gray as the two first-time selections on this year’s All-WNBA Teams.

Voting for the All-WNBA First and Second Teams was conducted at the conclusion of the regular season. Players were selected by position and received five points for each First Team vote and three points for each Second Team vote.

Five of the 10 players selected to the All-WNBA Teams are part of the matchup between Minnesota and Los Angeles in the WNBA Finals 2017 presented by Verizon. With the series tied at 1-1, the Sparks will host the Lynx in Game 3 on Friday, Sept, 29 at 9 p.m. ET in ESPN2.

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The 2017 All-WNBA Teams feature six MVPs winners: Fowles (2017), Charles (2012), Parker (2008, 2013) and Moore (2014) on the First Team, and Ogwumike (2016) and Taurasi (2009) on the Second Team.

Fowles, now a six-time All-WNBA selection and three-time First Team pick, earned her first regular-season MVP award after ranking fifth in the league in scoring (18.9 ppg), second in rebounding (10.4 rpg) and tied for second in blocked shots (1.97 bpg). She also shot a WNBA-best and career-high 65.5 percent from the field.

Charles has been an All-WNBA selection in every season of her eight-year career, including five First Team nods. In leading the Liberty (22-12) to the WNBA’s third-best record, she averaged 19.7 points (third in the league) and 9.4 rebounds (fourth in the league). The 2017 WNBA MVP runner-up earned seven Player of the Week honors, matching a WNBA record that she set last season.

Parker’s seventh All-WNBA selection (fifth on the First Team) follows a season in which she averaged 16.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.45 steals and 1.67 blocks – a top-11 ranking in the league for each category. Her 10th WNBA season included the sixth regular-season triple-double in league history as she finished with 11 points, 17 rebounds and 11 assists against the San Antonio Stars on July 28.

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Moore was chosen to the All-WNBA First Team for the fifth consecutive season. With averages of 17.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.88 steals, Moore joined Fowles in helping the Lynx (27-7) post the WNBA’s best record and secure its seventh straight 20-win season.

The All-WNBA Second Team includes Ogwumike and Gray as they join Parker to make the second-seeded Sparks (26-8) the only team with three players on the 2017 All-WNBA Teams.

Ogwumike ranked sixth in the WNBA in scoring (18.8 ppg), eighth in rebounding (7.7 rpg), third in steals (1.85 spg) and tied for fourth in field goal percentage (56.1). Gray, in her third season, averaged a career-high 14.8 points, led the WNBA in three-point field goal percentage at 48.2 and contributed 4.4 assists (sixth in the league).

Griner and Taurasi both made history this season with the Mercury. In averaging 21.9 points and 2.50 blocks, Griner became the first player ever to lead the league in both categories in the same season. Taurasi, meanwhile, broke WNBA career records for points and three-pointers made. This year marked the 10th time in 13 seasons that Taurasi (17.9 ppg) averaged at least 17.0 points.

Connecticut’s Jones also produced a record-setting season. A first-time WNBA All-Star in her second season, Jones set single-season records with 11.9 rebounds per game, 403 total rebounds and 280 defensive rebounds. She also averaged 15.4 points to help the Sun (21-13) reach the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

In honor of being named to the All-WNBA First and Second Teams, each member of the First Team will receive $10,000, while each member of the Second Team will receive $5,000.