Aug 5, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) dribbles against the Phoenix Mercury during the second half at Footprint Center. | Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Jewell Loyd
Country: USA
Sport: Basketball
Previous Olympic experience: Tokyo 2021
Social Media: Instagram

Who is Jewell Loyd

If you want to know about the growing legend of Jewell Loyd, just ask the city of Seattle. “Gold Mamba” took Seattle by storm when the city’s WNBA franchise selected her No. 1 overall in the 2015 WNBA draft.

Few current WNBA stars boast a trophy case as stuffed as Loyd’s. After ending her college career at Notre Dame with back-to-back NCAA Championship game appearances, a First team All-American nod and the espnW National Player of the Year award, Loyd secured WNBA Rookie of the Year honors in 2015.

Her decade with the Seattle Storm has seen two WNBA titles, five WNBA All-Star selections, a Commissioner’s Cup and a WNBA All-Star Game MVP win. Loyd added her first WNBA scoring title in 2023. Her 24.7 points per game last season was the second-highest of any scoring champion in league history.

The Storm are currently seeded second in the Western Conference.

Every piece of on-court evidence outlines Loyd’s playmaking ability, but her actions off the court carry similar power. She isn’t afraid to speak out about Black and LGBTQ opportunity or the disperate treatment between WNBA and NBA players.

She also puts in time to develop the sport of basketball in Africa while, perhaps more importantly, taking on a role model status with young African girls.

Jewell Loyd at the Paris Summer Olympics

The U.S. Women’s Basketball team heads into the Paris Games as gold medal favorites. Shocker, I know. The American women haven’t left the Olympics without a gold medal since 1996, and 2024 isn’t shaping up to be the year that streak will end.

Loyd herself has a history of winning gold in international competition, dating back to the 2010 U17 World Championship. Since winning her first Olympic gold in Tokyo, Loyd added a second FIBA Women’s World Cup gold medal alongside many of the same women she’ll accompany to Paris in mere weeks.

But that doesn’t mean Loyd is satisfied, nor does she appear to take the opportunity for another journey with the national team for granted. She called her second Olympic team selection “a blessing” earlier this month, and she’ll look to turn that blessing into another accolade in Paris. She’s called “Gold Mamba” for a reason, after all.