The Seattle Storm’s sensational guard Jewell Loyd’s performance on Sunday offers much needed consolation to Storm fans. After a tough season ending without a playoff bid for the Storm, Loyd captured the single season scoring record in the final game of the season. Loyd went into the game eight points behind Breanna Stewart’s record, which didn’t take her long to surpass. With 6:33 remaining in the first quarter Loyd hit a step back 3-pointer over former teammate Jordin Canada which drew a standing ovation from the crowd of 10,728 at Climate Pledge Arena. Loyd pushed her season total to 939- 20 more than Stewart while playing in 38 games this season. Loyd’s 28-point performance wasn’t enough as the Storm fell to the Sparks 91-89 after the Sparks capitalized on a late 12-2 run- symbolic of the Storm’s subpar season.
Loyd knew she had to step up as the Storm’s main offensive powerhouse after Seattle lost Stewart to the New York Liberty in free agency. This added pressure motivated Loyd to train harder in the offseason to continue her efficiency. Her scoring average for the season falls second in WNBA history at 24.7 PPG behind Diana Taurasi’s 2006 25.3 average. Loyd’s record came just a day after the former No. 1 overall pick signed a two-year contract extension. The terms of the deal are still unreleased, but Loyd’s agent told ESPN the deal is for a maximum of $241,984 for the first season and $249,032 for the second. The Storm remain the only WNBA team Loyd has played for as she looks to continue as the team’s main scoring weapon and climb WNBA charts. Loyd is third in Seattle history in scoring behind icons Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson.
Loyd’s WNBA stardom is nothing new- the guard starred at Notre Dame for three years. As a freshman she garnered immediate attention, capturing Big East Freshman of the Year awards and U.S Basketball Writers Association Freshman of the Year in 2013. The following season, she continued her collegiate success as the most outstanding player of the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference tourney and the Notre Dame Regional in the NCAA Tournament. Her senior season she was named ESPN’s women’s college basketball player of the year, ACC Player of the Year, and was runner-up for the Associated Press’ top award to her future Storm teammate Breanna Stewart. Her dominance is highlighted by her points- tallying up to a whopping 1,909, the fifth highest in Notre Dame history. Loyd’s achievements were not just individual, the fighting Irish went 108-6, the best three-year mark in Notre Dame history. Loyd attended the final four each year of her career and finished runner up the last two years of her career.
After Loyd was drafted first overall in 2015 she was named Rookie of the Year followed by earning All-Star honors in 2018, 2019, and 2021 ( there was no all-star game in 2020). Even more impressive, Loyd has contributed on a global level. The Illinois native has won gold in the 2022 FIBA World Cup, 2020 Olympics, 2018 FIBA World Cup, 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Cup, and 2010 FIBA U17 World Cup. Jewell remains a shining star in the WNBA and can only look to continue her bright future as an All-Star.