June 12, 2024 

Jewell Loyd brings experience and confidence to U.S. Olympic squad

Loyd: 'It's nice to talk basketball on a different level'

SEATTLE — Jewell Loyd is heading to her second straight Olympic Games with Team USA, but the Seattle Storm star isn’t taking anything for granted.

Continue reading with a subscription to The Next

Get unlimited access to women’s basketball coverage and help support our hardworking staff of writers, editors, and photographers by subscribing today.

Join today

“We know how hard it is to make this team and the legacy that’s built around this team, so anytime they call it’s kind of still a surreal moment,” Loyd told media after shootaround on Tuesday.

The Next, a 24/7/365 women’s basketball newsroom

The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited and photographed by our young, diverse staff and dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives and projections about the game we love.

The two-time WNBA champion considers the selection a “huge honor.” It means a lot to Loyd that “not just the league but the world and the highest honor respects my game and knows what I bring to the table.”

Loyd helped her country to the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and hopes to continue the team’s legacy with an eighth straight gold medal in Paris. Despite the pressure that streak could place on the team, Loyd says there is no pressure.

“We know what we’re capable of doing. We know what this team is trying to do,” Loyd said. “When we feel the intensity we don’t play free. So for us, it’s maintain the fun, take the legacy that is already built, build our own, and maintain that.”

Loyd already has a 2022 FIBA World Cup gold medal, a 2018 FIBA World Cup gold medal, and a 2014 FIBA 3×3 World Cup gold medal on top of her Olympic gold. As a member of the 2022 USA World Cup team, Loyd averaged 8.4 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in seven games played.

She has appeared in 52 games overall for USA Basketball and has been a consistent presence at USA Basketball camps since 2016, bringing a wealth of experience to this Olympic squad.

Stathead Stat of the Week

Ariel Atkins scored 36 points for the Mystics on Sunday. She was one point away from tying Elena Delle Donne’s franchise record for the most points in a game.

Stathead is your all-access pass to the Basketball and College Basketball Reference databases. Our discovery tools are built for women’s basketball fans like you. Answer your questions in a matter of seconds.

From her first Olympic experience in 2021, Loyd knows how important it is to stay healthy going into the tournament. Playing in the Olympics can add even more physical strain onto players already in the middle of a tight WNBA schedule, so Loyd is being smart and purposeful about her recovery and rest.

Though Loyd is excited to compete in the Games, she is also very excited just to spend time with her teammates. “You’re playing with Hall of Famers. And so it’s pretty remarkable to kind of sit there and talk,” Loyd said.

“It’s nice to talk basketball on a different level and also be around people who have been like you, right? When you’re in those situations you kind of forget you’re the 1%, not everyone’s like you. So you’re able to talk to people who have the same lifestyle, kind of the same struggles, things like that, so you’re able to just share stories… that’s probably the best thing is being a normal person around people that are in your field.”

Introducing Shelly Bean the Sports Queen!

Did you know that less than 2% of children’s books published each year have a female character who is physically active?

Shelly Bean the Sports Queen series is the perfect inspiration for the children in your life.  Action, bright colors, and representation in every story!

Written by Bella Munson

Bella has been a contributor for The Next since September 2023 and is the site's Seattle Storm beat reporter. She also writes for The Equalizer while completing her Journalism & Public Interest Communication degree at the University of Washington.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.