Johnathan Loyd is excited by the prospects of what the Island Storm can do with a returning core together for a full season.
The point guard is the first player to re-sign with the National Basketball League (NBL) of Canada club for the 2019-20 season. He joined the squad for the final 13 games of the regular season in 2018-19 and helped solidify the floor general’s position.
“I felt like we can do something special with the core group of guys that we have now,” he said recently from his home in Las Vegas, Nev.
Loyd said he was able to quickly form relationships with his new teammates and coaches, which helped make for a seamless transition.
“The guys helped me a lot, encouraging me to play my game and just do what I do,” he said. “When I got there, I felt like I was somewhere that I belonged.”
Loyd averaged 11.7 points, 4.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 13 games with the Storm. He can break down defences and get teammates easy looks, but his value runs deeper than what shows up in his individual stat line.
“Jonathan brings great energy. He’s a great change-of-pace player for us and he’s a winner,” head coach Tim Kendrick said. “He’s a real good guy in the room and (in the community), a really good guy at practice and a very strong player.”
Need to know
- Johnathan Loyd
- Who – A 27-year-old point guard from Las Vegas, Nev.
- Size – Five-foot-eight, 167 pounds.
- The news – Loyd has re-signed with the Island Storm for the upcoming National Basketball League of Canada season.
- Familiar face – Loyd joined the Storm for the final 13 games of last season. He averaged 11.7 points, 4.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds.
- Shooting percentages
- FG 3s FT
- 43.1 32.4 80
- Self-description: “I am high IQ, playmaking point guard (who plays) very, very good defence and can put the ball in the hole when needed.”
Kendrick likes his all-around game but noted his ability to get up in the grill of opposing point guards and apply pressure defensively.
“We don't have any problem with Jonathan picking guards up 80 feet from the basket, just to try to disrupt their offence a little bit more.”
Loyd played four years of basketball at the University of Oregon and a year as a wide receiver for the Ducks football team.
After university, Loyd played in China, Germany and The Basketball League (TBL) in the United States before coming north of the border.
“It was great. It was real competitive,” he said of the level of play in the NBL with high basketball IQ guys playing hard.
Loyd is currently playing in a pro-am league in Las Vegas and will be competing in the Drew League in California before returning to Charlottetown. He said those leagues help him stay ready for training camp with the Storm. He is excited to be returning to the Storm.
“It’s a blessing that I have somewhere to play and show my talents.”
Loyd was one of the Storm’s seven protected players. The list also includes Guillaume Boucard, the league’s top Canadian, centre Terrell Carter II, plus guards Alex Campbell, Malik Story, Tyree White and Robbie Robinson.
The protected list grew by two when the Storm completed a trade for centre Jabari Craig and wing Mamadou Gueye, who were protected by their previous team. Boucard, Campbell, Craig and Gueye are all Canadians and team must have five Canadians on their 12-man roster.
“To have a guy already signed and coming back with some real firm agreements in place with a couple of others I think that’s very positive for the franchise,” Kendrick said.
The bench boss has already attended a combine in Florida and is schedule to attend events this summer in New Jersey and Los Angeles in an attempt to find more talent for next year’s squad.