Basketball

Rhyne Howard wins Rookie of The Year honors after incredible season

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Rhyne Howard was a bright spot for the Atlanta Dream this season and has been recognized as the WNBA Rookie of the Year.

The Atlanta Dream took a major step forward this season. First-year coach, Tanisha Wright helped lead the team to 14 wins, an improvement of six wins over the previous season and their best win percentage in four seasons. At the heart of that improvement was rookie guard Rhyne Howard, who led the team in minutes played, points, steals and 3-pointers made. The 6-foot-2 guard also finished second on the team in blocks and third in total rebounds.

Howard’s energizing play was a bright light for the Dream, who have navigated locker room challenges and a high-profile ownership change over the past few years. The Dream haven’t made the playoffs since 2018 but were in the hunt for a postseason berth until the final days of the regular season.

Her contributions caught plenty of attention and she’s been chosen as the 2022 WNBA Rookie of the Year.

Rhyne Howard was an outstanding two-star for the Atlanta Dream

Howard averaged 16.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Her shooting splits (36.1/34.3/79.2) were less than ideal but she showed that she can be an electric shot creator and as Atlanta moves ahead with their rebuild and adds more offensive depth, her efficiency should rise significantly.

Howard’s win also reversed a minor trend with deeper draft picks winning the award. The top pick in the WNBA Draft had only won Rookie of the Year once in the previous five seasons (A’ja Wilson, 2018). Among those who won was Crystal Dangerfield in 2020, who wasn’t even selected in the first round.

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