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Storm guard Jewell Loyd wins WNBA Rookie of the Year award

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The number one overall pick in 2015, Jewell Loyd, becomes the first Storm player in franchise history to win Rookie of the Year.

Jewell Loyd wins Rookie of the Year!
Jewell Loyd wins Rookie of the Year!
Neil Enns

The Seattle Storm won the 2014-2015 WNBA Draft Lottery and knew they'd have the number one pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft.  However, no one thought they'd have the opportunity to draft Jewell Loyd until about a week before the WNBA Draft.  Loyd was only a junior in college and it's very rare for women college basketball players to declare early for the draft.  In fact, there's a rule that requires college players to turn 22 in the calendar year they declare before being eligible for the WNBA.  Similar to the men's game, which now requires players to be at least 19.  But to Seattle's surprise, both Amanda Zahui B and Jewell Loyd both declared early for the WNBA Draft.

Seattle opted for the 5'10" guard out of Notre Dame and she did not disappoint.  In her first year in the WNBA, Jewell Loyd led all rookies in points with 10.7 PPG and in minutes with 25.9 MPG. 

However, it wasn't always smooth sailing.  Loyd struggled quite a bit to start the year.  To the point where she actually requested to be benched, so she could watch the game and learn more initially instead of being thrust into the starting lineup and going against the world's best night in and night out.  Loyd only averaged 8.1 points PPG in her first month in the WNBA.  We saw consistent improvement all year long from the rookie, and in the final month of the season, Jewell Loyd was averaging 13.6 PPG.

Jewell Loyd set a career high of 21 points on June 28th in a game against the Tulsa Shock.  She also set a Seattle Storm franchise record for most consecutive free throws made without a miss (14-14), on August 30th against the Washington Mystics.  Loyd led the Storm in scoring in ten games this season.

Jewell Loyd received 21 of 39 possible votes for WNBA Rookie of the Year.  The New York Liberty's Kiah Stokes received 16 votes, and the Indiana Fever's Natalie Anchonwa got two votes.

Jewell Loyd was also named to the WNBA's 1st Team All-Rookie team and was joined by her teammate Ramu Tokashiki, who was also named to the All-Rookie team.

And if the future didn't look bright enough for the Seattle Storm already, the Storm also won the WNBA Draft Lottery tonight.  They will be number one overall again before the 2016 WNBA season.  All signs point to them drafting UCONN SuperStar Breanna Stewart with the number one pick.  It's a great time to be a Storm fan!