The Seattle Storm have been considered a contender nearly every season of their 21-year existence. It only took a few seasons to hang their first WNBA Championship banner in the rafters, and they have brought home three more since.
2022 looks to be Sue Bird’s farewell tour. Defensive stalwart Briann January has signed with the team, but she too will be retiring after this season. Additionally, rumors and speculation have been flying furiously since Breanna Stewart reportedly met with New York and ultimately signed back in Seattle on just a one-year deal.
The culmination of these factors has caused many to see the Storm’s outlook as uncertain. Luckily for Seattle, they have a two-way superstar who just signed a two-year supermax contract. Jewell Loyd is here to bridge the gap and usher in the next era of Storm basketball no matter what happens after this year.
Few players in professional basketball are as steady as Jewell. In seven seasons, Loyd has been available for 216 of 224 (96.43%) of games the Storm have played.
Now 28, Jewell Loyd is at an age when her athleticism and basketball IQ should peak together. “I don’t think I’m at my peak at all. I still have a lot more to give this game”, said Loyd.
During the 2021 season she posted career highs in assists per game, rebounds per game, and total steals. Known since day one as an elite scorer, Loyd has now become a solid defender and built a reputation as a two-way star. After draining another ridiculous buzzer-beating game-winner in 2021, her clutch gene is well know, too.
HoopSocial was in attendance for the Storm’s media availability on Thursday and asked Loyd about her all-around performance the past few seasons. “I want to continue with how I play on both ends. I think I am a two-way player, [and want to do] anything to help us win”, Loyd told HoopSocial. “I’m trying to make the all-defensive team. That’s something I want to do.”
General manager Talisa Rhea cut straight to the point when asked about her choices this offseason. “Having Jewell back in Seattle with us was a top priority… It goes without saying, but Jewell is one of the premiere players in our league”, Rhea told reporters.
Head coach of the Seattle Storm, Noelle Quinn, remarked that Loyd “developed into an elite defender last year” and “provides stability on both ends of the floor”.
The future for the Storm may be uncertain after Sue’s final season, but fans can rest easy knowing that Jewell is committed to the team and hungry to win. “Seattle has a special place in my heart… We’re building on something. I’m trying to win.”