Skylar Diggins-Smith Gets Vulnerable About Her Return to the Courts After Second Baby

The professional basketball player and mom of two gave a sweet, special shout-out to friend and WNBA assistant coach Bridget Pettis.
Sylar Diggins-Smith

Sylar Diggins-Smith.

WNBA player Skylar Diggins-Smith is making her comeback to pro basketball after welcoming her second baby last year, and she just signed with the Seattle Storm.

The 33-year-old, who used to play for the Phoenix Mercury and the Tulsa Shock, shares her son and daughter with husband Daniel Smith.

The Indiana native, who averaged 19.7 points and 5.5 assists per game in 2022, opened up during a recent Storm press conference and shared emotional details about what the process of deciding to come back looked like for her.

“It’s different. I questioned, ‘Can I do this? Did I want to do this?’ I didn’t feel like I wanted to keep playing. I didn’t know,” she shared.

Diggins-Smith gave a special shout-out to mentor, friend and assistant coach of the Chicago Sky, Bridget Pettis, who played college basketball and was a guard in the WNBA for eight seasons. She noted that the two have been close for a decade. When Diggins-Smith was originally drafted and considered playing overseas instead of in the WNBA because she didn’t feel like she “fit in,” it was Pettis who gave her the confidence to shut down her own imposter syndrome.

“She was the one that grabbed me and was like, ‘No, you’re great. I believe in you.’ Sometimes it’s just as simple as [hearing] that,” Diggins-Smith recalled. “Ten years later, [again] I’m like, ‘I don’t know if I could do this. I might just retire.’ And she pushed me. I lost 50 pounds.”

Diggins-Smith added that with the help of Pettis, she was able to get back in the gym just three months postpartum. Without any access to professional resources or  trainers, she put in the hard work and got back in shape.

“She got me back to that belief where I feel like now I feel stronger than I was before and I didn’t think that was possible. Going through postpartum stuff, you never know where you’re going to be. She pulled me out of another place,” Diggins-Smith continued. “I can’t say enough, what Bridget means to this journey. She [put] light into the fire. I’m coming for everything. She put that in my mind that I can be great and I’m still great. I feel like I’m mentally tougher, physically stronger, and I cannot wait for the opportunity to prove that.”

Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.