Mercury’s Skylar Diggins-Smith, Diana Taurasi build bond with Team USA

Apr 2, 2021, 4:00 PM
Skylar Diggins-Smith (File photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)...
Skylar Diggins-Smith (File photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
(File photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Phoenix Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith isn’t making any guarantees when it comes to this summer’s Olympics.

Diggins-Smith has represented the United States in the past, winning gold at the first ever FIBA 3×3 World Championship in 2012, but has yet to play in the Olympics.

While Diggins-Smith has established herself as one of the best players in the United States, her focus is earning a spot on the roster for this summer.

“I’m just trying to make this team,” Diggins-Smith said on a Zoom call Thursday. “I’m not counting anything until they put me on that team. So that’s really been my focus and my mindset.”

While Diggins-Smith is working to compete in her first Olympic games, her Mercury teammate and backcourt mate Diana Taurasi is gearing up for her fifth trip to the Olympics.

Due to COVID-19 and injuries, Diggins-Smith had limited time to practice with the Mercury before the season in 2020, so she and Taurasi have been working to build chemistry for the upcoming Olympics and WNBA season.

“Diana and I have been working out six days a week for the past few months,” Diggins-Smith said. “We’ve been in the gym, we feel great about our chemistry, obviously getting to work together this offseason in Phoenix just building our bond together, being on the floor, learning each other, just being able to build our relationship as teammates.”

Despite making an impact during her first season in Phoenix, Diggins-Smith was hampered by injuries during training camp in 2020. Being able to have a full offseason with no setbacks has allowed Diggins-Smith to spend more time on the court with Taurasi.

“I think it’s definitely going to help us you know,” Diggins-Smith said. “We didn’t really have that luxury last year. The first game was like one of our first few practices together because I missed most of camp with a hamstring injury. But no, it’s going to be great. For us, that time just to spend on the floor together. … You can’t simulate that.”

With COVID-19 still affecting the everyday lives of most, Diggins-Smith is thankful for the time she’s gotten to spend with Taurasi.

“I’m happy that we’re able to spend so much time on the floor together,” Diggins-Smith said. “You know, just developing our chemistry for this season in Phoenix.”

Phoenix Mercury

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates after Eno Benjamin #26 (not pictured) scores a ...
Kevin Zimmerman

What Arizona sports fans can be thankful for in 2021

The spirit of Thanksgiving is about the gratefulness that comes with not having it all, but enjoying the some that you do have.
5 days ago
Phoenix Mercury coach Sandy Brondello watches during the second half of Game 5 of the team's WNBA b...
Associated Press

WNBA changing playoff format to more traditional 3-round bracket

The WNBA announced Thursday the playoffs will be three rounds -- best-of-three in the first round and best-of-five after -- starting in 2022.
15 days ago
Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner (42) shoots against Chicago Sky's Azura Stevens (30) during the f...
Nicholas Hodell

Mercury taking resiliency and poise away from WNBA Finals run

The Phoenix Mercury is taking away positive lessons and motivations from a disappointing end to its season in the 2021 WNBA Finals.
2 months ago
Phoenix Mercury's Sklar Diggins-Smith, left, Brittney Griner, center, and Bria Hartley right, react...
Associated Press

Phoenix Mercury fall short of WNBA title in loss to Chicago Sky

Allie Quigley scored 26 points and Parker added 16 points, 13 rebounds and five assists and Chicago beat the Phoenix Mercury 80-74 in Game 4.
2 months ago
Phoenix Mercury's Sophie Cunningham (9) reacts after fouling Chicago Sky's Allie Quigley during the...
Associated Press

Phoenix Mercury fall to Chicago Sky in Game 3, face elimination on Sunday

The Phoenix Mercury dropped Game 3 by a staggering 36 points and now face elimination on Sunday in Chicago.
2 months ago
Brittney Griner #42 and Skylar Diggins-Smith #4 of the Phoenix Mercury celebrate after defeating th...
Arizona Sports

Mercury’s Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins-Smith make First Team All-WNBA

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner and guard Skylar Diggins-Smith respectively made their sixth and fifth All-WNBA teams.
2 months ago
Mercury’s Skylar Diggins-Smith, Diana Taurasi build bond with Team USA