UK great Rhyne Howard named WNBA Rookie of the Year
Atlanta Dream guard Rhyne Howard was an overwhelming choice as WNBA rookie of the year. Howard received 53 of 56 votes to become only the second Atlanta player to win the award.
From UK Athletics:
In honor of being named the WNBA Rookie of the Year, Howard will receive $5,150 and a specially designed trophy by Tiffany & Co. Also receiving votes for the award, Washington Mystics center/forward and former Ole Miss Rebel Shakira Austin received two votes and Indiana Fever forward and former Baylor Bear NaLyssa Smith received one vote.
Howard is just the second WNBA Rookie of the Year product out of the Atlanta Dream, following Angel McCoughtry’s recognition in 2009. She is also just the fourth WNBA No. 1 Draft Pick to sweep all WNBA Rookie of the Month honors (May – August) and be named WNBA Rookie of the Year.
The Cleveland, Tennessee, native was also named the Associated Press’ Rookie of the Year on Aug. 16.
The Wildcat played and started in 34 games for the Dream, averaging 16.2 points per game, which was the 11th most in the league at the end of the regular season, for a combined 552 points this season, which was the 10th most in the league at the end of the regular season. 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.
Recently, in Atlanta’s loss at Las Vegas on Aug. 9, she broke the Tamika Catchings’ 20-year-old 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 3-pointers, 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 feats including:
- 2022 WNBA Rookie of the Year
- 2022 Associated Press Rookie of the Year
- 2022 USA National Training Camp selection
- Swept the WNBA Rookie of the Month honors (May – August), to earn the most WNBA Rookie of the Month honors in Atlanta Dream history with four
- Invited to compete in the WNBA All-Star Game and 3-Point Contest
- Most three-pointers made (85) and attempted (248) in a rookie season in league history, and the most made and attempted by any Atlanta Dream player in franchise history
- Most points scored in a rookie season (552) in franchise history, making her the first Dream rookie to ever eclipse 500 points in one season
- Most 10+ point games (30), 15+ point games (20) and 20+ point games (11) of any rookie in Dream history
- Most defensive rebounds (127) in a season by any Dream rookie in franchise history
- Became the first rookie in league history to record four 3-point field goals and four blocks in their debut game
- Was 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