Wildcat Legend. #1 overall pick. And now Rhyne Howard continues to add to her legacy by bringing home the 2022 WNBA Rookie of the Year Award.
After being drafted by and becoming the focal point and franchise player of the Atlanta Dream, Howard met every expectation and was sensational in her first year in the pros. She posted a stat line of 16.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. She won Rookie of the Month honors twice for the months of May and June. She was named a WNBA All Star. Following a 33 point scoring outburst in a victory over Indiana on May 15, she was named Player of the Week for the Eastern Conference. And now, she is Rookie of the Year.
She joins the elite company of John Wall, Anthony Davis, and Karl-Anthony Towns as the only Kentucky basketball players to be drafted first overall. She is now in even more exclusive territory, as Howard and Towns are the only two players to be drafted first overall AND win Rookie of the Year honors.
It is amazing for the Big Blue Nation to witness greatness at the University of Kentucky and you can make an argument that no one was greater in the history of the women's program than Howard. However, it can be just as rewarding to see our great players continue their greatness at the highest levels even after graduating and that is just what Rhyne is doing. If she keeps this up, it is not an exaggeration to say that she can go down as one of the greatest professional athletes to ever come from the University of Kentucky.