Contributor Colin Davenport had a chance to speak with Seattle Storm first-round picks, Jewell Loyd and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis. Both players expressed their excitement about being in Seattle — and the opportunity to play together.
By Colin Davenport
Seattle, WA — Just nine days removed from competing against each other for a national championship for the second year in a row, All-Americans Jewell Loyd and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis became teammates when the Seattle Storm selected them with the first and third picks respectively in the WNBA Draft.
To say Loyd and Mosqueda-Lewis are excited about joining the Storm together is an understatement. “I was overwhelmed with joy when I found out!” said Mosqueda-Lewis. “It’s great to have Jewell on my team for once instead of having to compete against her.”
Loyd mirrored Kaleena’s sentiments, saying, “It feels great to get to compete with Kaleena. To not have to worry about guarding her and be able to get her the ball instead, and get the chance to compete together for a championship.”
Both have had illustrious college careers. For each of her three years, Loyd helped lead Notre Dame to the Final Four and racked up countless personal honors, including the 2015 espnW National Player of the Year. Mosqueda-Lewis has been part of four final four teams, and winning the last three national championships, while at UConn.
Both players bring two unique styles of play to the Seattle franchise, which is at the beginning of a rebuilding process. Loyd is one of the most athletic guards in the nation. Her game, which is similar to that of her idol, Kobe Bryant, is one of toughness and grit.
She utilizes an explosive first step, with an incredible ability to hit contested shots, giving opposing teams fits when facing her. “I’m looking forward to bringing hard work and dedication to the Storm this season,” said Loyd. “A little bit of offense, a little bit of defense and a smile.”
Mosqueda-Lewis on the other hand, is considered by many to be the most elite shooter to ever enter the WNBA. Her 48.8% accuracy from downtown her senior season is beyond remarkable. So much so that comparisons to another Uconn great who played in Seattle are inevitable.
Growing up, Mosqueda-Lewis and her father studied Ray Allen for countless hours to help her perfect her elite shot form. “I actually hadn’t thought about it, but I am excited to get the chance to play in the same building as Ray Allen. I did in college and I think it’s cool that I will get to as a pro also.”
One other subject the two agree on is how much they are looking forward to playing alongside Sue bird.
“She is a legend. I know how hard she worked to get where she is and the opportunity to learn from her is incredible.” Loyd said. Mosqueda-Lewis adding, “She’s the greatest point guard in history. To get to play alongside her will be amazing.”
Friday will see the first introduction of the new faces of the Storm to the general public with Jewell Loyd set to throw out the first pitch at the Seattle Mariners game. She will join Storm legends Sue Bird and Swin Cash in receiving the honor.
When Mosqueda-Lewis arrives in Seattle she is looking forward to being closer to her family “To get to join such a great organization and be able to play closer to my family is incredible,” she said. For Storm fans, what is incredible, is the opportunity to watch both players compete together at Key Arena for years to come.