Copyright 2015 JewellLoyd.com
— Seattle Guard Becomes First Winner of Award in Franchise History —
NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2015 – Jewell Loyd of the Seattle Storm, who led all first-year players in scoring this season, has been named the 2015 WNBA Rookie of the Year presented by Samsung, the WNBA announced today. The 5-10 guard is the first player to win the award with the Storm in the franchise’s 16 seasons.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm, Loyd received 21 votes from a national panel of 39 sportswriters and broadcasters. New York Liberty center Kiah Stokes finished second with 16 votes and Indiana Fever center Natalie Achonwa was third with two votes.
Loyd averaged rookie highs of 10.7 points and 25.9 minutes, putting her second on the Storm in both categories, and added 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 34 games (23 starts). Her 90.4 free throw percentage was tops among rookies and placed her fourth in the league.
The former Notre Dame star improved her scoring and field goal percentage every month of the season. In July, Loyd averaged 10.5 points (up from 8.1 in June) and shot 40.5 percent from the field (up from 34.1 in June) to earn the WNBA Rookie of the Month award presented by Samsung. She then averaged 12.2 points on 44.0 percent shooting in August and 13.6 points on 48.1 percent shooting in September.
Loyd scored in double digits 18 times, including 10 such performances in her final 13 games. On Aug. 30, Loyd set a franchise record for made free throws without a miss (14-for-14) and finished with 18 points to go with five rebounds and two assists as the Storm defeated the Washington Mystics 69-59. Two games later, in a 93-65 loss to the Chicago Sky, she matched her career high with 21 points and contributed a career-high seven rebounds.
This year marks the second season that Samsung, an official WNBA marketing partner, is serving as the presenting partner of the WNBA’s highest individual honors. The WNBA Performance Awards presented by Samsung program includes the WNBA Most Valuable Player, WNBA Most Improved Player, WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, WNBA Rookie of the Year, and the WNBA Players of the Month and Rookie of the Month awards.
In honor of being named the 2015 WNBA Rookie of the Year presented by Samsung, Loyd will receive $5,000 and a specially designed trophy by Tiffany & Co.
Below are the complete results of the 2015 WNBA Rookie of the Year presented by Samsung voting, followed by a list of previous winners:
2015 WNBA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR PRESENTED BY SAMSUNG VOTING RESULTS
21 Jewell Loyd Seattle Storm
16 Kiah Stokes New York Liberty
2 Natalie Achonwa Indiana Fever
WNBA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR PRESENTED BY SAMSUNG ALL-TIME WINNERS
2015 Jewell Loyd Seattle Storm
2014 Chiney Ogwumike Connecticut Sun
2013 Elena Delle Donne Chicago Sky
2012 Nneka Ogwumike Los Angeles Sparks
2011 Maya Moore Minnesota Lynx
2010 Tina Charles Connecticut Sun
2009 Angel McCoughtry Atlanta Dream
2008 Candace Parker Los Angeles Sparks
2007 Armintie Price Chicago Sky
2006 Seimone Augustus Minnesota Lynx
2005 Temeka Johnson Washington Mystics
2004 Diana Taurasi Phoenix Mercury
2003 Cheryl Ford Detroit Shock
2002 Tamika Catchings Indiana Fever
2001 Jackie Stiles Portland Fire
2000 Betty Lennox Minnesota Lynx
1999 Chamique Holdsclaw Washington Mystics
1998 Tracy Reid Charlotte Sting
Seattle Storm rookie guard (and No. 1 overall pick) Jewell Loyd returned to her hometown of Chicago last weekend for a game against East powerhouse Chicago Sky. The Players’ Tribune followed Loyd on what was her homecoming tour.
Chicago-native Jewell Loyd possesses a singular on-court tenacity that made her the league’s number one draft pick in 2015 and earned her Rookie of the Year accolades. As the Seattle-based player begins her first professional European season in Turkey before returning to the States for her second year, Nike looks at what drives the hardworking athlete.
Growing up, Loyd remembers always being outside and playing in the park. Her Lincolnwood neighborhood was driven by sports — from soccer to skateboarding and tennis to baseball. She navigated this athletic landscape with the help of her brother, Jarryd Loyd, who was eight years her senior.
The elder Loyd led by example both on and off the court. “I looked up to my brother growing up, copying pretty much everything he did,” Loyd explains. During high school as she focused on basketball, Loyd continued to seek the expertise her brother had accumulated during his own standout basketball career, which included playing professionally overseas.
This tight mentorship continued in college with pregame phone calls that highlight how the sibling relationship has evolved Loyd into a dedicated student of the game.
ON AND OFF-COURT TEAMWORK
Loyd’s relationship with her brother also underscores her esteem for teamwork – an appreciation that remains intact following her pro rookie season, where she has benefitted from the support of her teammate Sue Bird. Loyd understands that with a close-knit, aligned team anything is possible.
She applies similar early learnings to her off-court activities. Loyd’s mother’s community involvement with the school system taught her daughter the importance of serving those in need, and giving back to the community provides Loyd with great satisfaction.
“Nike has done so many great things, beyond sports – I’m really looking forward to helping grow women’s basketball with them while also impacting the community,” says Loyd.
While women’s basketball experiences significant international growth, the game is in good hands with the next generation of renaissance athletes, including Loyd.