Dallas Wings point guard Skylar Diggins was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, where she grew up playing on an AAU team. She stayed home to attend college at Notre Dame before being selected third overall in the 2013 WNBA draft. And she’s also an executive producer on an upcoming Nickelodeon series. On Friday, March 3, the first episode of that three-part documentary, Little Ballers Indiana, will air at 9 p.m. on Nicktoons. The series follows the 11- and 12-year-old girls on the Sky Digg Ballers AAU team, who play in South Bend and are coached by her stepdad, Moe Scott. We spoke with Diggins about the project!
How did you get involved with Little Ballers Indiana?
It started with [director] Crystal McCrary, who was involved with the first Little Ballers, that was about her son and a few of his teammates and told their story of growing up in New York City and the culture of basketball and their bond. I was interviewed for that documentary. Amar’e Stoudemire was an executive producer. We got to talking. Crystal had expressed that she wanted to do one for the female ballers. Right away, my wheels were turning. We had the perfect group of girls back in South Bend, where I have a few AAU teams. We got with the girls and the parents and talked to them about the idea. It started from there.
How was it similar to your experience growing up playing basketball?
When you go to AAU tournaments, that was the first time we were getting to travel outside of the state and getting to play with our friends. You see the girls bond and how close they became during the documentary. That was the same way with my friends and I. I made some of my best friends through the game of basketball. You kind of learn life skills through basketball skills. It’s something I’m very proud of—taking place in South Bend and seeing the next generation and having my family and some of my friends involved and legends like Lisa Leslie and Chamique Holdsclaw. You’ll hear a lot of lessons that come from those women. It’s a very relatable story.
Is there something you wish you could go back and tell your younger self?
As a kid, for me, every experience happened for a reason. I had a lot of fun with the game. I was able to meet a lot of people. I wouldn’t change much. I would just continue to be Sky. Just continue to put the work in. It’s a village. If it wasn’t for my mentors and the community in South Bend—so many helped shape me to get to where I am today. I had a great support system growing up. So I wouldn’t change that much.
Photograph courtesy of Nickelodeon