Sept. 6, 2017
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Three former Fighting Irish women’s basketball players are ready to take the stage of the 2017 WNBA playoffs, which kickoff on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Jewell Loyd of the Seattle Storm and Skylar Diggins-Smith of the Dallas Wings each have first round matchups tonight in an ESPN2 doubleheader. Meanwhile, Lindsay Allen’s New York Liberty patiently await for their round two opponent.
Up first, the No. 7 seeded Wings clash with the No. 6 seeded Washington Mystics at 8 p.m. ET, which will then be followed by the No. 8 seeded Storm battling No. 5 seeded Phoenix Mercury at 10 p.m.
Both the first two rounds are single-elimination games as the No. 3 seeded Liberty will ultimately play the lower seed of the two-emerging first round winners on Sept. 10. Furthermore, both the semifinal rounds (beginning Sept. 12) and the finals will consist of a best-of-five series.
Notre Dame boasts four different WNBA champions in program history: Coquese Washington, Ruth Riley, Jacqueline Batteast and Devereaux Peters – all combining for a total of six WNBA Championships.
In addition, this past week the Associated Press (AP) released its end of the year awards as Diggins-Smith landed on the All-WNBA First Team list. Diggins-Smith’s 18.5 points per game ranked seventh in the league while her 5.8 assists per game ranked fourth.
Josh Bates joined Fighting Irish Media as associate athletics communications director in July of 2017, serving as the women’s basketball and men’s golf contact. Bates earned both his bachelor’s (2011) and master’s (2014) degree in sports management from the University of Illinois. He also worked as a grad assistant at Illinois from 2012-14 and worked full-time at Tulane University from 2014-17.