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For the first time in the 36-year history of the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, the Fighting Irish have placed two players on the prestigious Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Coaches’ All-America Team, it was announced Saturday afternoon at New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, La.
Senior guard/co-captain Skylar Diggins earned a spot on the elite 10-player team for the third consecutive season, while junior guard Kayla McBride was chosen for the first time in her career. Diggins is the only player in program history to be selected multiple times for the WBCA Coaches’ All-America Team, while McBride joins Diggins, Ruth Riley (2001) and Jacqueline Batteast (2005) as Notre Dame cagers who have received the accolade.
With Saturday’s award, Diggins is assured of being the first Fighting Irish women’s basketball player to be a two-time consensus first-team All-America selection, as well as the first four-time All-American in program history — both Riley (1999-2001) and Batteast (2002, 2004-05) were three-time selections, with Riley the only other Notre Dame women’s basketball player to be a consensus first-team All-America choice (2001).
At the same time, Diggins is just the 10th Notre Dame basketball player of either gender to be a consensus first-team All-American, and the seventh Fighting Irish basketball player to pull off that feat more than once (second in past 37 years after Troy Murphy in 2000 and 2001). The only other Notre Dame men’s players who earned consensus first-team All-America honors in multiple seasons were Edward “Moose” Krause (1932-34), John Moir (1936-38), Paul Nowak (1936-38), Leo Klier (1944 and 1946) and Adrian Dantley (1975-76).
Diggins and McBride were among 10 players selected from a group of 52 finalists for this year’s WBCA Coaches’ All-America Team, with those players not chosen for the final squad earning honorable mention status. Among this year’s honorable mention All-America selections was Notre Dame junior forward Natalie Achonwa (Guelph, Ontario/St. Mary’s Catholic), who earned that distinction for the first time in her career.
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