Atlanta Dream guard Rhyne Howard has been named the 2022 Kia WNBA Rookie of the Year. She is the second player to win the award with the Dream, joining Angel McCoughtry (2009).
Howard received 53 votes from a national panel of 56 sportswriters and broadcasters. Washington Mystics center/forward Shakira Austin received two votes and Indiana Fever forward NaLyssa Smith received one vote.
Howard averaged 16.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.59 steals in 31.3 minutes in 34 games (all starts) this season. She led all WNBA rookies in points, assists, steals and minutes per game.
Among all WNBA players, Howard ranked 11th in scoring average and tied for fifth in steals. She also finished third in the league in three-pointers made with 85, a single-season record by a WNBA rookie.
Her accomplishments this season included being selected as a 2022 WNBA All-Star, winning all four WNBA Rookie of the Month awards and earning WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors for the first week of the season. She also set Dream franchise rookie records for total points (552) and rebounds (154).
Howard recorded 11 games with 20 or more points, including a season-high 33 points against the Fever on May 15 in her fourth career game. She averaged 20.5 points in her first six games.
In her WNBA debut, Howard scored 16 points, made four three-pointers and posted four blocks, four assists, three rebounds and two steals against the Dallas Wings on May 7. She became the first player to have at least four three-pointers and four blocks in her first WNBA game.
Atlanta selected Howard with the first overall pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm. During her standout career at the University of Kentucky, Howard was a three-time AP All-American First Team selection and two-time SEC Player of the Year.
In honor of being named the 2022 WNBA Rookie of the Year, Howard will receive $5,150 and a specially designed trophy by Tiffany & Co.