SEATTLE – With the first overall pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm, the Seattle Storm selected Jewell Loyd, a 5-10 guard from the University of Notre Dame.
“Jewell is without question a dynamic playmaker; her ability to create off the dribble, distribute the ball and hit shots will be exciting to watch in Coach Boucek’s system,” said Storm President & GM Alisha Valavanis. “The opportunity to add a player of her caliber to our roster is game-changing. We are very excited to welcome Jewell to the Pacific Northwest.”
Last week, Loyd announced she would forgo her final year of eligibility at Notre Dame and declare for the WNBA Draft. In her three years with the Fighting Irish, Loyd had a career record of 108-6 and helped lead Notre Dame to three-straight NCAA Final Four berths and two-straight NCAA national championship games.
During her third and final year with Notre Dame, Loyd became the fifth consensus First Team All-America selection in Fighting Irish women’s basketball history and was named the ACC Player of the Year and espnW’s National Player of the Year. Her 772 points (19.8 per game) were four points shy of the single-season school record. Loyd also scored 20-plus points 20 times, tying the single-season school record.
As a sophomore in 2013-14, Loyd scored in double figures in all 37 games she played in, averaging a team-high 18.6 points along with 6.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists, earning her Second Team Associated Press All-American honors. She set the Notre Dame record for most combined points by a player in her first two seasons with 1,137, a mark previously held by Skylar Diggins, who scored 1,069 points from 2009-2011. Loyd was named the 2014 ACC Tournament MVP, the first Notre Dame sophomore to earn the honor since Krissi Davis in 1998.
Loyd started in 35 of 36 games as a freshman in 2012-13, averaging 12.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. She was named the USBWA National Freshman of the Year and Big East Freshman of the Year. Loyd became just the second Notre Dame player to be named to the Big East Championship All-Tournament Team after scoring 16 points with six rebounds in the Fighting Irish’s title game win over No. 3 Connecticut.
A native of Lincolnwood, Ill., Loyd also has experience at the international level. Her most recent appearance came last summer as a member of the USA 3×3 World Championship Team that went 9-0 and won the gold in Moscow, Russia. Loyd was the second-leading scorer among all players in the 24-team tournament at 7.3 points per game, and added a bronze in the individual skills competition at the event. She was also a member of the 2010 USA Basketball under-17 World Championship Team that went 8-0 and won the gold medal at the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championships in Toulouse, France.
At Niles West High School in Chicago, Loyd was named a finalist for the 2012 Naismith National High School Player of the Year award. ESPNChicago.com and the Champaign News-Gazette named Loyd 2012 Illinois Player of the Year.