WBB Coaches Staff Page 2024-SB 5264

Diaz's Honors 

  • Nebraska's Best Defensive Player (2005)
  • Colombian Senior National Team (2005)
  • Colombian Under-21 National Team (2001, 2002)
  • Colombian Junior National Team (1999)
  • First-Team NJCAA Region VI All-Tournament Team (2004)
  • First-Team All-Jayhawk West Conference (2004)
  • Second-Team All-Jayhawk West Conference (2003)

Senior (2005-06)
Elena (pronounced Ell-ay-nuh) Diaz was slowed by a knee injury during fall practice, which limited her practice time and production early in the season. Her injury continued to limit her effectiveness through much of the season, but she overcame the pain to produce a strong finish to her Husker career.

Diaz surged down the stretch as a senior, supplying her best performance with a season-high 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field in the final game of her carrer in a WNIT quarterfinal loss at Kansas State on March 24.

Over the final eight games of the season, Diaz averaged 6.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. She also connected on 55.6 percent of her field goal attempts.

She opened the impressive eight-game stretch by scoring 11 points and tying her career high with nine rebounds in NU's win over Oklahoma State on Senior Night in Lincoln on Feb. 21.

Her only other double-figure scoring effort of the season came with 12 points in the Huskers' win over Texas State on Dec. 20.

Diaz finished the season averaging 4.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. She also continued to supply a strong defensive presence for the Huskers, grabbing 31 steals and blocking eight shots on the year. Both of those totals represented increases from her junior season when she was named Nebraska's Best Defensive Player.

During the summer, Diaz helped Colombia qualify for the FIBA Americas Tournament in the Dominican Republic. However, Diaz and the Colombians were unable to play in the World Championship-qualifying tournament because of a lack of funding for their national program.

Junior (2004-05)
Diaz came into her own in the second half of the Big 12 Conference season and developed into one of Nebraska’s most consistent scorers and rebounders down the stretch.

She finished the season averaging 6.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while starting 23 of 32 games for the Huskers.

Diaz started 15 of NU’s 16 regular-season Big 12 contests, coming off the bench only in the second game of the league season at Missouri. She started NU’s final 18 games to close the year, including two games in the Big 12 Tournament and both of Nebraska’s games in the Postseason WNIT.

She was even better down the stretch, averaging 10.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per game over NU’s last five games before the Postseason WNIT.

Diaz produced double figures in four of those five games, including the best performance of her career with 15 points and nine rebounds in the Huskers’ loss to Kansas State in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City, Mo., on March 9.

Diaz’s career-high 15 points came in a career-high 31 minutes against the Wildcats. Along with tying her career-best with nine boards against No. 17 Kansas State, Diaz also knocked down a career-best seven field goals in a career-high 13 attempts against KSU.

For the season, Diaz scored in double figures six times, including 11-point efforts against Northern Colorado and No. 2 Baylor, along with 10-point performances in three straight games against No. 17 Kansas State, Missouri and at Colorado to close the regular season.

Against the Tigers and Buffaloes, Diaz also grabbed seven rebounds, after just missing a double-double with 10 points and a career-high nine boards against No. 17 Kansas State on Feb. 23.

In Big 12 Conference play, Diaz averaged 6.9 points per game, while leading the Huskers with 5.5 rebounds per contest. She also shot a team-leading 55.6 percent from the field in league action. Diaz was also voted NU’s top defensive player at the end of the season.

In the Huskers’ 88-59 win over No. 14 Iowa State on Feb. 12, Diaz scored eight points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out a career-high six assists in one of the best all-around performances of her career.

In Nebraska’s 103-99 triple overtime win over No. 2 Baylor on Jan. 12, Diaz scored 11 points, while pulling down seven rebounds. She earned her second straight start at No. 23 Kansas State and contributed six points and a then-career-high eight rebounds.

She added a solid outing with eight points, two rebounds, two assists and one steal against No. 10 Texas Tech, and eight points and three rebounds in NU’s win over Kansas on Jan. 29.

Diaz earned her first start of the season at No. 10 Notre Dame. She played only 12 minutes against the Fighting Irish and did not score, but bounced back to score 11 points in the win over Northern Colorado, which included 3-of-5 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 shooting from the free throw line. She added three rebounds and an assist in just 15 minutes of work against the Bears.

Diaz opened the season with a seven-point, five-rebound effort in the first-round Preseason WNIT victory over Western Illinois on Nov. 12. She added the second start of her career in the win over Southeastern Louisiana and her third start in the win over Tennessee-Martin, before getting the nod at No. 10 Ohio State.

Dodge City CC (2002-03, 2003-04)
Diaz capped an excellent junior college career at Dodge City CC by leading the Lady Conquistadors to a school-record 26 wins and a trip to the NJCAA Region VI Tournament title game. Dodge City finished the season with a 26-8 overall record and a final No. 8 national ranking under Coach Jim Turgeon.

A native of Medellin, Colombia, Diaz led all players in the Region VI Tournament with 11.3 rebounds per game. She averaged a double-double during the three tournament games by ranking fifth in the tournament with 17.3 points per contest. Diaz added two blocks, two steals and two assists per contest in the tournament.

Diaz led Dodge City to a victory in the Region VI Tournament semifinals by scoring a team-high 19 points against Colby Community College. In the Region VI quarterfinal win over Coffeyville CC, Diaz led all scorers with 27 points and 10 rebounds.

For the season, Diaz averaged 14.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 78 percent from the free throw line.

Diaz earned second-team All-Jayhawk West Conference honors and helped Dodge City to a then-school record 22 victories as a freshman.

High School
Diaz led Comfenalco at Cartagena to the Colombian national championship in 1999. She also earned tournament MVP honors for her performance.

Along with her high school success, Diaz led her Antioquia club team to Colombian national titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. She was named the team's MVP all three seasons.

The daughter of Jose Diaz and Karen Lopez, Elena Diaz Lopez was born April 18, 1983, in San Juan, Colombia. Elena has one sister, Olga Diaz, 34, and two brothers, Jose Diaz, 32, and Jhon Jairo Diaz, 28.

Elena majored in Latin American studies at Nebraska and received her undergraduate degree in May of 2007. A solid student, Diaz earned a spot on the Big 12 Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll following the spring semester of 2005.

Diaz chose Nebraska over West Virginia, Saint Bonaventure, Washington State, Saint Francis (Pa.) and New Mexico State.

Diaz's Career Statistics