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Bob Dixon

Agency Manager


Middlesboro, KY 40965


Go Big Blue!

Kentucky's Rhyne Howard No. 1 Overall Pick in WNBA Draft

NEW YORK – Rhyne Howard, the most decorated player in Kentucky women’s basketball history, added another milestone Monday as she was selected No. 1 pick overall at the 2022 WNBA Draft by the Atlanta Dream. Held at Spring Studios in New York, Howard made history at the draft, becoming the first Kentucky women’s basketball player ever to be selected No. 1 overall.

The native of Cleveland, Tennessee, becomes the seventh player in program history to be selected in the WNBA Draft and the first since Evelyn Akhator and Makayla Epps were both selected in 2017. Akhator was previously the highest draft pick in school history at third overall. Howard, Akhator, A’dia Mathies and Victoria Dunlap are the only first-round picks in program history. Howard’s accomplishment makes Kentucky only the 16th program to produce a No. 1 WNBA Draft selection and one of only five schools in the league to produce such a player.

The 6-foot-2 Howard becomes the seventh player in Southeastern Conference history to be selected first overall, joining Dena Head (1997 – Tennessee), Chamique Holdsclaw (1999 – Tennessee), LaToya Thomas (2003 – Mississippi State), Seimone Augustus (2006 – LSU), Candace Parker (2008 – Tennessee) and Aja Wilson (2018 – South Carolina).

“Rhyne is a versatile wing who can score the ball in a variety of ways,” said general manager Dan Padover of the Atlanta Dream. “Her athleticism and basketball IQ will be the backbone of her future success in this league. She’s a great kid from nearby and we think she will be a key piece for the future of this basketball team.”

Howard leaves Lexington as the program's all-time top three-point shooter and a two-time SEC Player of the Year. The 21-year-old from Cleveland, Tenn. started in 114 games over the course of her four-year career with the Wildcats. She totaled 2,290 career points and is one of only nine players in women's basketball history to be named to the Associated Press First Team three times.

She finished the 2021-22 season as the only player in the nation with over 600+ points, 200+ rebounds, 100+ assists, 70+ steals and 35+ blocks. During her college career, Howard averaged 20.1 points (20.5 in 31 games during the 2021-22 season alone), 6.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 33 minutes per game during her career.

“Rhyne is a special talent with a multi-faceted skillset, she’s going to be a great addition to our team,” said Atlanta head coach Tanisha Wright. “She has a quiet competitiveness that I love, and I think the level of play in our league will bring something special out of her which I’m really excited to see.”

The Dream’s only ever first overall selection, Angel McCoughtry, went on to become Atlanta's franchise player, earning five WNBA All-Star appearances, seven WNBA All-Defensive First Team nominations, and two All-WNBA First Team nods while leading the Dream to three WNBA Finals appearances (2010, 2011, 2013).

The Atlanta Dream acquired the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft from Washington, in exchange for their 2022 No. 3 overall pick and 2022 No. 14 pick (second round) to the Mystics. Washington also received the right to swap its own 2023 first round pick with the 2023 first round pick Atlanta acquired from Los Angeles earlier this year (received along with Erica Wheeler).


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