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Jewell Loyd Is in the Gym, Building Her Game and a Community

  • February 27, 2021

The siblings had been looking into buying a gym when Jarryd received an alert on his cellphone that the Warehouse had hit the market. The pair, along with a couple of private investors, are negotiating to buy it, envisioning the space as a renewed incubator for future generations of ballers in the know.

The commitment goes beyond money.

“It’s a safe space,” Jewell Loyd said. “It’s really for the community. I want to make sure that people have a chance to do what I’m doing, and it starts with a dream. And if you can build that dream in a place that you get constantly reminded that you can achieve it, I think that’s the beautiful thing about the building.”

Loyd is at a pivotal time in her life, after a trying year on and off the court in 2020. A few seasons back, she pinpointed this winter as an opportunity for a break from her overseas career, predicting that she would need time off after the Tokyo Olympics.

The Olympics, delayed by the pandemic, haven’t happened yet. Still, the planned breather came at an ideal time: Loyd’s mentor, Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash in January 2020. Then the W.N.B.A. played out its season in the isolation of a bubble environment in Florida, dedicating the year to Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was killed by the police in Louisville, Ky.

“In the end, it wasn’t easy being in there,” Breanna Stewart, Loyd’s Seattle teammate, said of the bubble at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. “Basketball 24/7 — and we both love basketball — but when it’s all you see, and you see the same people over and over and over again, it can get very redundant.”

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