Skylar Diggins isn’t on the basketball court these days, but she’s definitely putting in work. The Tulsa Shock guard recently had the esteemed honor of posing for the Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary Swimsuit Issue.
According to E! News, the Notre Dame alum’s beach spread took place in the British Virgin Islands. Diggins shed her basketball jersey for a blue and white Tory Burch bikini.
The WNBA third overall draft pick was featured in the edition along with NWSL star Alex Morgan, professional surfer Anastasia Ashley, and a number of other female models, including John Legend’s wife, model Chrissy Tiegen. While the prestigious opportunity may not seem like a big deal for most, Diggins expressed to Sports Illustrated that she was quite surprised when the publication asked.
In a short video on the site, the 23-year-old hoop star shared her sentiments on the opportunity. She also revealed that she had first-time jitters about modeling swimsuits.
“I didn’t really know how I was going to approach modeling swimsuits,” Diggins said in a video on SportsIllustrated.com. “I had never modeled in a swimsuit before. As the shoot went along, I got more and more comfortable. That really helped me get some great shots.”
“I loved the pictures. I think this was a great change of pace for me, speaking as an athlete, now, to show my femininity. I think that every woman is beautiful in her own way. It’s great to be a part of this magazine that celebrates not only models, but athletes as well, and puts it into perspective that all women are beautiful.”
Diggins’ step-father Maurice Scott also weighed in explaining that she’d discussed the opportunity with her family before committing to the Sports Illustrated deal. “We are supportive of Skylar,” Scott said. “I said, the only thing is, Mom is going to have to go on the set and make sure the swimsuits she puts on have some taste, and make sure it wasn’t anything too bad for Dad’s sake.”
The South Bend, IN native took to Twitter to share her elation about the swimsuit issue with fans. She also tweeted some of the pictures from the shoot to her 444K followers. Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports, which is also Diggins’ sports management company, tweeted pictures from the shoot as well.