Yesterday's loss to UConn isn't the only loss that Notre Dame has to recover from, as superstar guard Jewell Loyd has declared for the WNBA Draft, per a Swish Appeal source and Tom Noie -- who first reported the news -- of the South Bend Tribune.
Earlier today, there were rumblings that this could become a possibility, and Loyd -- ESPNW's National Player of the Year -- has now made this official. She's the second game-changer to decide to forgo her eligibility to pursue the WNBA, as Minnesota's Amanda Zahui B. announced earlier this week, that she will enter this year's draft.
Here are the statements from Loyd and Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw, regarding today's decision:
"I am incredibly grateful for my experience at Notre Dame and the support I have received from Coach (Muffet) McGraw, our staff, my teammates and the entire ND community," Loyd said in a statement to the Associated Press. "I have grown as a woman and as a basketball player and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of such an inspiring community."
"We appreciate all that Jewell has done for our program and the University of Notre Dame during her time here," Fighting Irish head coach Muffet McGraw said. "We understand this was not an easy decision. We wish her nothing but happiness and success at the next level.
Loyd is a special athlete, who has the ability to be this year's No. 1 pick -- and is arguably the best overall player in this draft. Her game, raw athleticism and shot-making ability is reminiscent of Los Angeles Lakers star guard Kobe Bryant.