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This Week in Women’s Basketball: Skylar Diggins-Smith to miss rest of All-WNBA-caliber season

The Phoenix Mercury are without Brittney Griner, Tina Charles and Skylar Diggins-Smith, three superstars they expected to have this season, for the remainder of it. Diana Taurasi could still return in the playoffs.

Phoenix Mercury v New York Liberty Photo by Steven Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images

Here’s what happened in the world of women’s basketball this past week:

Skylar Diggins-Smith to miss rest of the season

The Phoenix Mercury announced that Skylar Diggins-Smith will not play for the rest of the season due to “personal reasons.” The team indicated its intent to hire a player to fill in for Diggins-Smith this week.

Diana Taurasi to miss rest of regular season

Diana Taurasi is out with a quad strain. A spokesperson for the Mercury told ESPN, “She is out for the remainder of the regular season and will provide more info if/when we do make the playoffs.”

Seattle Storm gain their biggest audience of all-time

On Sunday, the Storm welcomed the largest audience in the franchise’s history. The team saw 18,100 people at their game in Climate Pledge Arena. This also marked the team’s second sell-out in a row.

Napheesa Collier returns to WNBA 10 weeks after giving birth

Despite giving birth to her daughter only ten weeks ago, Naphreesa Collier joined the Minnesota Lynx for the rest of the 2022 season this week. In a postgame interview, Collier explained that she was thrilled to be back. She said, “I was really excited. Obviously, there’s some nerves coming in, especially this late in the season and trying to get back here and rush to do everything. But it felt so good to hear my name called and have the fans cheer for me. It was a really good feeling. So I’m really glad I played tonight.”

Sabrina Ionescu makes WNBA history

On Saturday, Sabrina Ionescu became the first player in WNBA history to earn 500+ points, 200+ rebounds, and 200+ assists in one season.

Los Angeles Sparks players forced to spend night at an airport

On Monday, several members of the LA Sparks were forced to spend the night at an airport in Washington, D.C. after their flight out of the city was canceled. According to team member Nneka Ogwumike, the team was told there were not enough hotel rooms available for everyone.

WNBA players are required to fly commercial because some team owners either cannot or will not pay for chartered flights. This left the Sparks in a tough spot as members of the team had to find airport chairs to turn into makeshift beds.

Dallas Wings advance to the playoffs

On August 8, the Wings moved forward to the 2022 WNBA playoffs when they came out on top during their game against the Liberty.

Chelsea Gray sets a new record for Las Vegas Aces

On Sunday, Chelsea Gray set a new record in the franchise for assists in a single season.

East Tennessee State announces new head coach

East Tennessee State has hired Brenda Mock Brown as the head coach for its women’s team. The move comes a week after former coach Simon Harris was fired from the team. Brown previously coached at UNC Asheville from 2012 to 2020.

Sylvia Fowles moves up in blocks

The Minnesota Lynx celebrated Sylvia Fowles this week as she now has the third-most blocks in WNBA history.

Former WNBA star Lauren Jackson joins Australia’s national team

Lauren Jackson returned to basketball this week when she made Australia’s national team. She told the Associated Press that she doesn’t know when she will officially retire from the sport. She said, “I don’t know when the last day will be. It has been a slow process. I can’t believe I’m back here. It’s so bizarre. It’s been fun, a real journey.”

Arike Ogunbowale undergoes successful surgery

The Dallas Wings announced that Arike Ogunbowale will miss the rest of the regular season and the first-round playoff matchup after undergoing a successful iliac crest core muscle avulsion repair.

Connecticut Sun sign Odyssey Sims

On Wednesday, Odyssey Sims was signed to the rest of the regular season by the Connecticut Sun. Sun head coach Curt Miller explained, “She’s been tremendous on-ball defensively. She’s a downhill guard for us and creates opportunities with people having to bring attention to her and she finds people on the outside. For someone who doesn’t know the playbook yet and doesn’t know all our schemes yet, I’m really pleased with how Odyssey is playing.”

Dearica Hamby injured

Hamby will likely be out two to four weeks with a right knee bone contusion.