Howard Named WNBA Rookie Of The Year


Rhyne Howard (WNBA Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – One minute she is leading the Kentucky women’s basketball team to a historic Southeastern Conference Tournament title and the next she is being crowned the 2022 Associated Press WNBA Rookie of the Year.

Rhyne Howard, the Atlanta Dream’s 2022 WNBA No. 1 Draft Pick, has been selected as the league’s rookie of the month for four straight months – May through August – en route to being crowned the AP WNBA Rookie of the Year, it was announced Tuesday. Her coach, Tanisha Wright, was also named the AP WNBA Coach of the Year.

The Wildcat played and started in 34 games for the Dream, averaging 16.2 points per game, which is the 11th most in the league, for a combined 552 points this season, which is 10th most in the league. Howard has added 4.5 rebounds per game, 2.8 assists per game, 1.4 steals per game and has swatted 26 blocks in 2022.

Last week, in Atlanta’s loss at Las Vegas, she broke Tamika Catchings’ record for the most 3-point field goals scored during a rookie season at 77. Just two games later, she concluded the regular season with 85 3s, including sinking five from long range in the final game of the season at New York.

Perhaps her best game of the season came early in her career, and in front of Big Blue Nation, in Atlanta’s win at Indiana on May 15. Howard scored a season-high 33 points on 50.0 percent shooting from the field, including draining a trio of 3s, while also going 12-of-17 from the line. She added three rebounds, three assists and two steals.

During Howard’s rookie campaign, she accomplished numerous other feats including becoming the first rookie in league history to record four 3-point field goals and four blocks in their debut game, being named the WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week and AP Player of the Week after her first week on the court in May, scoring the most points in a quarter by any rookie in the league against Indiana on May 15 and being invited to compete in the WNBA All-Star Game and 3-Point Contest.

The WNBA is scheduled to release its league awards in late August.

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