(LEX 18) — Add it to the list: Rhyne Howard has made history again. She is the first player in Kentucky women's basketball history to be selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA Draft. Howard was selected by the Atlanta Dream Monday evening.
Howard was able to experience the moment in person, as she was one only 12 players invited to attend the league's first in-person draft since 2019.
It's the latest in a long list of record-breaking accomplishments for Howard, who finished her collegiate career as UK's second-highest scorer of all time, for Kentucky's men's and women's programs. Her 2,290 total points were earned in fewer than 100 games, making Howard only the third Wildcat in UK history to pass the 2,000 point threshold in that time period. The others? Hall of Famers Dan Issel and Valerie Still.
Howard entered the NCAA Tournament as the only player in the nation with over 600 points, 200 rebounds, 100 assists, 70 steals and 35 blocks, and she was named the SEC Tournament MVP after helping lead the Cats to their first conference tournament championship since 1982. She finished the four-game run with 88 points, marking the third most ever by a player in the tournament.
It's a good day to draft Rhyne Howard No. 1️⃣ overall pic.twitter.com/Be3Z6CoLBH— BBN Tonight (@BBNTonight) April 11, 2022
She was named a first-team All American by four major organizations this season - the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, the Associated Press, the Wooden Award and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. She's the only player in program history to earn three first-team honors from multiple organizations, and she's one of just nine players in the entire country to be selected as an AP first-team All-American in three consecutive seasons.
This season, she was also a finalist for the 2022 WBCA Wade Trophy, 2022 Cheryl Miller Award, one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy Women's National Player of the Year, on the national ballot for the Wooden Award and a finalist for the Dawn Staley Award.
Suffice to say, Howard's time in Lexington was historic. Her Kentucky teammates and coaches recorded this video to wish her luck in the Draft and in the league:
Now, Howard can officially take the next step in her basketball career. The WNBA season begins in early May, and the Dream's first game is scheduled for Saturday, May 7th against the Dallas Wings in Arlington, Texas.
The team's full schedule and ticket information is linked here.
Hear from Howard Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. on BBN Tonight: