That big collective sigh of relief you heard throughout the Northwest Saturday afternoon was Storm Nation hearing the news that the Storm has re-signed Jewell Loyd to a multi-year contract. It was much-needed news to a loyal fan base who has stood by the Storm franchise through the ups and downs. The retirement of Sue Bird left the Storm loyalists wondering what the future would be like without Bird
That wondering and pondering of the future was shaken when Breanna Stewart said thanks but no thanks to a contract renewal and signed with the New York Liberty. For many Storm fans, the theme for the 2023 season was game-by-game. The thought of Loyd leaving the franchise was too much to bear. Storm Nation stuck with the team averaging 8, 929, 05 fans a game which was third best in the WNBA. To show her gratitude Loyd set the franchise record for most points in a single season.
Loyd scored her 743 point of the season in her 31st game and made a franchise record 111 three-pointers this season, besting her own previous record of 84 set last season. Overall in 2023, Loyd leads the league by a wide margin with 20 games scoring 25 or more points and has tied a WNBA single-season record with 12 games with 30 or more points.
With the season winding down Storm fans began to ponder the possibility of life without Loyd. Fortunately for Storm Nation the team’s front office made an offer Loyd could not refuse.
“It’s been special for Seattle to witness Jewell compete for championships and rise to be one of the best in the game. She is a franchise player, and we are excited to continue to build our future around her,” said Alisha Valavanis, Seattle Storm President & CEO. “She is a remarkable person and leader, she lifts her teammates, the organization, and her community. Everyone around Jewell knows she embodies greatness. We’re so glad she’s staying in Seattle.”
“This has been a special year for Jewell and I’m excited it caps off with a commitment to continue to build her legacy in Seattle,” said Storm Head Coach Noelle Quinn. “Jewell brings a level of excellence to our team on the court and consistently proves that she is one of the best in our league. Her accolades and achievements speak volumes to the commitment she has to her game, and the Seattle Storm. She is our leader and someone that we look forward to locking arms with heading into this new era of Storm basketball. It has been my absolute honor to have both played with and coached Jewell and I can’t wait to continue creating lasting memories in Seattle.”
Loyd was voted MVP of this year’s WNBA All-Star game was the 2015 WNBA Rookie of the Year, has twice earned All-WNBA honors, being named to the first team in 2021 and receiving second-team honors in 2016. She is a three-time gold medalist, helping the United States win a pair of FIBA World Cup titles in 2022 and 2018 and an Olympic gold in 2020, and is expected to help Team USA repeat at the 2024 Paris Olympics in July.
Loyd has played all 289 games over her nine-year WNBA career in a Storm uniform. She had scored 4,779 career points for a career scoring average of 16.5 points per game—both of which are the third-best marks in franchise history. Loyd, who helped the Storm win the 2018 and 2020 WNBA Championships, is concluding the best offensive season of her career, leading the league in scoring at 24.6 points per game and scoring a total of 911 points—the most in a single season in WNBA history. Her 24.6 ppg average is the second highest in league history, and highest since 2014.
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