Rhyne Howard named Wooden Award All-American


Kentucky guard Rhyne Howard (10) takes questions during a postgame press conference after the UK vs. Princeton womens basketball game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, March 19, 2022, at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana. Princeton won 69-62. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Cole Parke

Kentucky senior guard Rhyne Howard was named a Wooden Award All-American on Wednesday, earning the accolade for the third consecutive year.

The team is composed of five of the best womens college basketball players in the sport, with Howard joining South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, Michigan’s Naz Hillmon and Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith in being invited to Los Angeles for the award presentation.

Howard earned All-American honors from multiple organizations this season, including the likes of the Associated Press and the United States Basketball Writers Association.

Winning the award for the third consecutive year continued to rewrite history for Howard, with the star joining the likes of Sabrina Ionescu and Brittney Griner as three-time Wooden Award All-Americans and making her the second ever Wildcat to earn three first-team honors from the same organization.

She is also the first Wildcat to ever earn three first-team All American honors from multiple organizations, a testament to the talent Howard possesses.

Playing her last season of college basketball before entering the WNBA draft, the accolades continue to add up for the star, with Howard also being named a finalist for the 2022 WBCA Wade Trophy, a finalist for the 2022 Cheryl Miller Award, one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy Women’s National Player of the Year and a finalist for the Dawn Staley Award in recent weeks.

The accomplishments were well earned as Howard entered the 2022 Womens NCAA Tournament as the only player in the country to notch 600-plus points, 200-plus rebounds, 100-plus assists, 70-plus steals and 35-plus blocks.

Though the season ended in a first round upset to Princeton, Howard was monumental in leading the Wildcats to the 10-game winning streak to end the season. The streak included a win over No. 1 South Carolina in the SEC Championship game to bring home the first SEC title in 40 years at Kentucky.

Aware of the talent it had on its roster, Kentucky replaced its normal ‘senior night’ with ‘Rhyne Howard Day’, honoring the star in her last game inside Memorial Coliseum, despite having more than just one senior on the roster.

Howard took full advantage of her own night, going off for 32 points with a team high eight 3-pointers, leading all scorers as the Wildcats trampled Auburn 90-62.

She ends her college career as the second leading scorer in Kentucky basketball history, including both mens and womens teams, scoring 2,290 points across her four years on the team.

Undoubtedly going down as one of the best to ever don a UK jersey, the question for Howard is no longer if she will get drafted and win awards, but rather how high she will go and how many more accolades she’ll secure on the way.