Skylar & Angel: A Tale of Two Point Guards
Monday, The Tulsa Shock practiced inside Edison High School's new gymnasium for the second time in as many days since opening preseason camp. Being a weekday, one school official said there were a handful of kids skipping class to watch practice; just to see the Shock's top draft pick.
The Tulsa Shock selected point guard Skylar Diggins from Notre Dame with the third overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft. And one could argue her marketability alone made her a top pick.
Diggins is quite popular in the social media world. She's the most followed college athlete on Twitter with 381,079 followers as of May 6th -- nearly 40-thousand more than reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. Diggins says she's graduating on May 19th so that title will be handed down to "Johnny Football."
"The popularity of Twitter followers I have now, it goes all to the Shock," Diggins said after Monday's practice. "So I'm just trying to use it for the good of our team."
It's a big boost for the Shock's Public Relations department. But Skylar's skills on the court is likely to bring more than just good publicity.
"She's going to be a really good pro," second year head coach Gary Kloppenburg said. "Her biggest adjustment is having to go every night against super quick guards. But Skylar's very smart in that she can adjust on the court. We really like what we've seen so far. She's a leader on the court with this team already."
There's also rookie point guard Angel Goodrich. The Shock used their final pick to select the Tahlequah native 29th overall. Goodrich has shown resiliency over the years. Despite two of her seasons at KU ending prematurely because of torn ACL's, once in each knee, Goodrich still finished as the Jayhawks' all-time career assists leader.
Angel's 771 career assists also ranks third all-time in Big 12 history. In addition, her final two seasons in Lawrence ended with trips to the NCAA's "Sweet 16." Clearly, Goodrich is used to finding a way to succeed on the court.
"I've always wanted to have an opportunity come out here and just try to make a team," said Goodrich. "I mean it's always been a dream to me to have this opportunity, it's truly been a blessing."
We'll see how Goodrich, Diggins, and the Tulsa Shock fare when they play their first exhibition game at the B.O.K. Center Thursday at 11:30 against the Atlanta Dream.