Whether or not Jewell Loyd should have been named a starter in the 2022 WNBA All-Star Game is a debate for another day.
However, the Lincolnwood, Illinois, native is returning home to Chicago in two weeks to make her fourth WNBA All-Star appearance and join fellow Storm standouts Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird, who were voted in as starters.
Loyd is one of 12 All-Star reserves chosen by league coaches for the 2022 WNBA All-Star Game on July 10 at the Wintrust Center Arena.
“I’m excited to go home and have a chance to play in front of my family and friends and celebrate my career and share those memories with people who have had my back for years,” Loyd said. “It’s definitely a blessing, and I don’t take it for granted.”
Loyd was an All-Star reserve 2021 and 2018 started the game in 2019.
“Like I said, I don’t take it for granted because you never know if you’ll got back (to the All-Star Game),” said Loyd, who is 16th in the WNBA in scoring while averaging 16.6 points per game. “Every season you want to put out your best every single night, but sometimes it doesn’t always happen and you’re like ‘Awww, man, I’m not playing to my expectations.’ But knowing that there’s a respect that I have in the league. The fans respect what I do so that’s always reassuring.”
The backcourt All-Star reserves include: Chicago’s Kahleah Copper and Courtney Vandersloot, Washington’s Ariel Atkins, Phoenix’s Skylar Diggins-Smith, Atlanta’s Rhyne Howard and Dallas’ Arike Ogunbowale,
The frontcourt reserves are Chicago’s Emma Meesseman, Las Vegas’ Dearica Hamby, New York’s Natasha Howard and Connecticut’s Brionna Jones and Alyssa Thomas.
The All-Star reserves were selected by the league’s head coaches, who voted for three guards, five frontcourt players and four players at either position regardless of conference. The coaches were not able to vote for their own players.
Last week, the WNBA announced the 10 All-Star Game starters who were selected by fans, media and players: Stewart, Bird, Las Vegas’ A’ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young, Minnesota’s Sylvia Fowles, Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones, Los Angeles’ Nneka Ogwumike, Chicago’s Candace Parker and New York’s Sabrina Ionescu.
Wilson and Stewart will serve as co-captains by virtue of attaining the most fan votes. The league also selected Bird and Fowles, who are retiring after the season, as co-captains. Bird will pair with Wilson and Fowles will join Stewart.
Las Vegas head coach Becky Hammon will lead Team Wilson because the Aces had the best record in the league on June 24. Meanwhile, Chicago head coach James Wade will command Team Stewart.
The captains for Team Wilson and Team Stewart will select their respective rosters during an ESPN broadcast of the WNBA All-Star Team Selection Special at noon Saturday.
Loyd hopes she’s drafted by Stewart if she brings her baby Ruby to the All-Star game.
“Ruby on the bench as an assistant coach?” Loyd said. “You can’t say no to a baby. … I’m also excited to share that opportunity with Sue. Maybe I’ll do half and half and split my time.
“But it will be special to have all three of us at the All-Star one more time.”
Several notable All-Star omissions include: Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi, Washington Mystics’ Elena Delle Donne, Indiana Fever’s Kelsey Mitchell and Tina Charles, who played 16 games with the Mercury before joining the Storm on Tuesday.