For the first time in the history of the University of Indianapolis’ men’s basketball program, a UIndy alumnus is currently playing in the NBA. Jordan Loyd graduated from UIndy in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental sustainability.
Loyd said he transferred to UIndy from Furman University in the middle of his sophomore year and became a redshirted member of the men’s basketball team. During his time at UIndy, Loyd played as a guard, averaging 20.9 points per game and was the leading scorer in his final collegiate season, 2015-2016. He finished his career with a total of 1,213 points after being with the team for only two years. He also made the most field goal and three-point shots. He is ranked No. 25 on UIndy’s all-time scoring list.
He went on to play for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants for the 2016-2017 season and the Israeli team, Hapoel Eilat, in the 2017-2018 season. This year, Loyd played for the Toronto Raptors, a Canadian-based professional team as part of a two-way contract with the both Raptors and their NBA G-League affiliate, the Raptors 905 from Mississauga, Ontario for the 2018-2019 season.
Loyd’s first appearance in an NBA games was on Oct. 29 against the Milwaukee Bucks. He grabbed an offensive rebound within the first two minutes of the game.
Loyd scored his first points in the NBA regular season against the Chicago Bulls on Nov. 17. He played for 12 minutes and finished the game with eight points, four rebounds and made two out of two shots from the three point range.
Loyd said that he has been playing basketball since he was a child. According to Loyd, the love he has for the sport comes naturally to him.
“I started playing when I was about five or six years old, but I come from a basketball family,” Loyd said. “It’s just been something that’s been naturally passed down to me. I’ve always had a love for the game from a young age.”
Head Men’s Basketball Coach Stan Gouard said that he coached Loyd throughout most of his career at UIndy. He said that Loyd had always been a team player, along with a great talent. Gouard said he saw potential in Loyd to further his career beyond college basketball. Gouard worked with Loyd and his parents to create a plan that would spotlight him for the NBA.
“The first year we had him I knew he was going to be a good European player with the way he shot the basketball. This was after two weeks of playing in the spring of 2014,” Gouard said. “I knew he had a chance, because anytime a guy of his size can shoot the basketball the way he does, I knew he’d have a chance to go and play [in the NBA], but the rest was up to him.”
Loyd said that he dedicates his career to his deceased friend and teammate, guard Dai-Jon Parker. He said the two of them had been friends for many years prior to both of them playing for UIndy. When Loyd lost his long-time friend and teammate in a tragic drowning incident in 2015, he said he decided to live out Parker’s memory, which is one of the main reasons he continues playing.
“Besides my own love for the game, he’s the reason I keep playing today,” Loyd said. “I grew up with him in Louisiana. So, I’ve known him since I was about eight or nine years old. As we got older, he was heavily recruited. He was supposed to be the guy who gets to the NBA and the big colleges. He had a lot going for him. And once everything happened with him, I decided I’m going to live out his dream, and I know what it takes. So, that’s what gave me motivation, just to live out what he was going to do.”
Gouard said that Loyd dedicated each game he played to Parker. Loyd changed his jersey number to Parker’s previous number to keep him in memory as he went through his career. Loyd seems to be grateful for his accomplishments, according to Gouard, and he has worked hard to get where he is. He said that Loyd is deserving of this opportunity.
“I was like a proud father to see [Loyd] develop into the man he is today,” Gouard said. “I was very excited and happy for him and his family, because I knew all along this is what he wanted. He worked for it… I was happy to see him make it to the NBA. It was an honor to coach him [to that point].”
Correction: December 5, 2018
A previous version of this article misstated how Jordan Loyd ended up playing for the Toronto Raptors. He was not originally drafted by the Raptors. His first NBA team was the Fort Wayne Mad Ants after being selected by them as part of the NBA G-League Draft in 2016. Loyd also does not have a two-year contract with the Raptors. He actually has a two-way contract for the 2018-2019 season with both the Raptors and their G-League affiliate, the Raptors 905.
This article has since been updated with the correct information.