Jordan Loyd of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants: Remember the Name

Jordan Loyd of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants takes on the Long Island Nets.
Jordan Loyd of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants takes on the Long Island Nets. /

If you do not know Jordan Loyd of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, there are reasons to believe that one day you will.

Jordan Loyd is spending his time with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and averaging 15.7 points per game to go along with 4.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists.

But that doesn’t tell you the story of Jordan Loyd, where he has been or where he is going.

Throughout my own playing career, I have been surrounded with some extreme talent, but none have left the impression on me both on and off the court that Jordan Loyd has.

I play basketball for DePauw University, and during the summer of 2015, some players from my team and from the University of Indianapolis teamed up in a collegiate summer league. I was fortunate to play alongside Loyd and got to see his skills firsthand. We did not lose a game that summer and Loyd ultimately led us to a championship win. After playing with him, I was left with one lingering question.

Why had I never heard of Jordan Loyd?

Always Overlooked

Throughout his career, Loyd has been overlooked. He was not highly recruited out of high school, despite leading his Milton High School to a state championship as a junior, and a 29-3 record as a senior. He was again overlooked at Furman where he played as a freshman but was red-shirted as a sophomore.

Ultimately, Loyd decided to leave Furman and transfer to the University of Indianapolis where his game took off.  At the University of Indianapolis, he averaged 15.6 and 20.8 points per game in his junior and senior seasons respectively.

More from 8 Points, 9 Seconds

Loyd can seemingly do it all on the court. He can shoot beyond the arc, get to the rim and finish and guard his position. He accompanies these abilities with exceptional court vision and handles. Loyd is also an extremely well-rounded and savvy player, but his talent has been consistently neglected.

After college, the history of Loyd being overlooked was set to repeat itself. I ran into Loyd at the Knox Indy Pro-Am at Jonathan Byrd’s Fieldhouse in the late summer, and he informed me that he was still searching for a destination to continue his basketball career.

His time was winding down, and he was not receiving the offers he desired overseas, but the thought of giving up on his dream never crossed his mind. Loyd was too invested and motivated to ever let up.

What Motivates Jordan Loyd?

In the summer after his Junior season at the University of Indianapolis, tragedy struck as Loyd’s lifelong friend, Dai-Jon Parker, suddenly passed away. Loyd played with Parker at Milton High School and the University of Indianapolis. Ever since that fateful day, Loyd has been committed to stepping on the hardwood in remembrance of his beloved friend.

Earlier this morning, I messaged Loyd to further understand his motivation which has guided him to where he is now and where he will go in the future. His response was special.

“He was the one who was supposed to make it to the NBA and be a huge star,” Loyd stated. “Now I’m gonna do my best to make that happen through me.”

“I would say my motivation comes from a few different places. My biggest motivation is Dai-Jon Parker. The day he left this earth, I knew I would carry out his dream and legacy. He was the one who was supposed to make it to the NBA and be a huge star,” Loyd stated. “Now I’m gonna do my best to make that happen through me. I’m also motivated by all of the people who overlooked me all my life and said I wasn’t good enough. This is only the beginning for me and the d league is not my final goal but only a starting point. In the future, I want to be in the NBA and show everyone what I can truly do.”

If you watch Loyd on the court, it seems as if he is on a mission, and he is utterly unflappable. That demeanor can be attributed to the honoring and remembrance of Dai-Jon Parker and those who overlooked him throughout his career.

Jordan Loyd has taken full advantage of the opportunities he has been given in the game of basketball, even when he was the only one who believed in himself. Now, he carries the weight of his dreams and the dreams of Dai-Jon Parker’s on his shoulders.

Loyd is the kind of guy I root for, and it is evident he has a vision, and will not stop until he has done all he can to realize it.

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He is already off to a tremendous and unforeseen start with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Jordan Loyd will continue to write his own story, and I believe one day, that story will be continued in the NBA.