WNBA crown latest accomplishment for goal-oriented Jewell Loyd
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Jewell Loyd isn’t the type of person to reflect on her accomplishments. So when she was asked whether she has looked back on everything she has achieved, the 24-year-old Niles West and Notre Dame alum demurred.
‘‘No, I haven’t,’’ Loyd said after some of her achievements were recited to her. ‘‘It all just kind of hit me. Wow. I’m doing what I love to do.
‘‘To me, as an athlete, I’m always thinking, ‘How can I be better?’ I haven’t really had a moment to kind of look at what I’ve done and say, ‘Wow, this is an accomplishment.’ ’’
Last week, Loyd added WNBA champion to her résumé when the Seattle Storm swept the Washington Mystics in the Finals.
Loyd, a Lincolnwood native, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft after earning consecutive consensus All-America honors at Notre Dame, which she led to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA championship game. She was the 2015 WNBA Rookie of the Year and earned an All-Star nod this season.
But she never had won a championship at any level until the Storm beat the Mystics for the WNBA crown.
‘‘This is pretty special,’’ Loyd said. ‘‘This is something I definitely wanted to do. The two goals I had in mind when I left college was to win a WNBA championship and then have a chance to win a gold medal.
‘‘This is something that’s super-remarkable, and I’m excited about it. I’m going to enjoy this one.’’
True to form, Loyd quickly has turned her attention to that other goal. She recently met up with the U.S. national team as it prepares for the upcoming Women’s Basketball World Cup in the Canary Islands and was named to the final roster Wednesday. A strong showing in the tournament would help position Loyd for a spot in the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo and, considering the United States’ dominance of the sport, a likely gold medal.
Though the Olympics are two years away and there are more WNBA titles to win, Loyd acknowledged she’s thinking about 2020.
‘‘I think the first step is the [World Cup] and seeing how I match up to play there,’’ Loyd said. ‘‘Take it day by day and try not to get too ahead of myself, but that’s definitely a goal.’’
NOTE: The Red Stars lost 2-0 to the North Carolina Courage in their National Women’s Soccer League semifinal Tuesday in Portland, Oregon. The game originally was scheduled for Sunday in Cary, North Carolina, but it was moved and delayed because of Hurricane Florence.