The WNBA’s #1 Draft pick of 2015, Jewell Loyd, went through a lot of hoops to secure her spot on the Seattle Storm basketball team.

As a kid growing up, she spent hours on the basketball court every day, repeating and visualizing every possibly game scenario. The biggest obstacle she faced, though, was her dyslexia. Loyd’s mother began to notice Loyd’s struggles with homework around age 12, and took her to get some testing done. The results were clear—dyslexia.

At first, Loyd didn’t understand what dyslexia was, and was embarrassed of the term “learning disability.” She felt much more comfortable and in control on the basketball court, and attributed her difficulties in school to her new label. But it wasn’t long until Loyd saw that she could take all the discipline and practice she puts into basketball and apply it to her studies. When she was looking into colleges, Loyd and her mother made sure that schools would work together with them and develop an individualized learning plan for Loyd. While at Notre Dame University, she not only gained the respect and attention of WNBA scouts, she made academic honor roll while attending.

Grateful for her success, both academically and on the court, Loyd wrote an article for The Players Tribune right before the 2015 WBNA draft and openly attributes her success to her dyslexia. She writes, “I’m not sure if I’d be here without my disability. That was a driving force for all those hard, long hours in the gym. It motivated me to prove I could be successful.”

Read Jewell Loyd’s article here at The Players Tribune website.