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Jewell Loyd, a two-time champion, five-time All-Star and the WNBA's all-time record holder for points in a season, has been one of the league's biggest difference makers ever since she was drafted No. 1 overall in 2015. Now, the Seattle Storm star is trying to make the same impact off the court. 

Earlier this month, Nike released Loyd's newest player edition shoe, which was designed entirely by her best friend's autistic and non-verbal son, Justice. Following the launch, Loyd opened up to CBS Sports about her bond with Justice and why she wanted to use her platform to tell his story. 

Thanks in part to the success of her initial PE's, Loyd had full creative control this time around and told Nike she wanted to turn it over to Justice. So, Nike sent blank canvases of the G.T. Cut 3s to Justice's family and let him draw whatever he wanted -- which, to little surprise, was smiley faces. 

"Literally calls I would have with his mom were, 'I just finished finding painters to come paint the house, Justice was drawing smiley faces everywhere,'" Loyd said. "I was like, well, let him draw smiley faces on the shoe."

Once they decided on a direction, Loyd went back to the drawing board with Nike to finalize the design and incorporate Justice's favorite colors. In addition to the smiley faces, the heels of the shoes say "Got you" and "Go be great," in the handwriting of Justice's sister, Sloan, who often writes out what he is trying to communicate. 

"Got you" is what Justice calls tag, one of his favorite games. It was also what he said when he first saw the shoes. Because of some of the sensory issues that come along with Justice's autism, he likes to take his clothes off when he gets home. But when the shoes arrived, his eyes lit up. He refused to take them off the rest of the day, even though his family doesn't usually allow shoes in the house, and eventually fell asleep with them on. 

"Knowing that he is wearing them and that he can see the smiley faces and knows that's something he drew, it was super special to have that interaction," Loyd said. "And to hear that from the family and also see that Justice responds to the shoe."

Loyd's initial reaction to the "perfect" shoe was just as enthusiastic. She got to debut them last Tuesday during the Storm's season opener against the Minnesota Lynx, and while that game didn't go as planned, it was still a special moment for Loyd. She plans to wear them throughout the season, along with yet-to-be-released designs, including another from Justice that features lightning bolts -- an ideal fit for the Storm. 

"I really wanted to tell the story of Justice and Laci and her family, the Swann family, because I haven't seen a lot of shoes or clothing brands, things like that tell the story of kids with autism," Loyd said. 

As a star-studded rookie class led by Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese drives unprecedented interest in the WNBA, there are obvious benefits for everyone involved: higher ratings, more revenue, even charter flights, long considered the holy grail. More attention also means a bigger platform for players' charitable and social projects. 

Loyd's shoe is the most recent example, but it won't be the last. 

"As the league grows, I think the storytelling will evolve as well," Loyd said. "I think this is just one way of that and being able to tell the story of people that don't always have a voice. We understand that we have a platform as well, and I felt the need to continue to story tell, and it's really nice to have that through art, through a shoe where it can reach masses."