The WNBA announced its rookie awards on Thursday afternoon, and unsurprisingly, Atlanta Dream star Rhyne Howard stands alone as the league’s top first-year player. Howard, the No. 1 pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft out of Kentucky, ran away with the league’s Rookie of the Year Award, securing 53 of a potential 56 votes.
To the surprise of no one, Rhyne Howard was named the WNBA rookie of the year. She received 53 of 56 votes.
— Maggie Hendricks (@maggiehendricks) August 25, 2022Advertisement
Shakira Austin of the Washington Mystics received two of the remaining three votes for the award, while NaLyssa Smith of the Indiana Fever got the last one. All three of these players — who were the top-3 picks in April’s Draft — were members of the league’s All-Rookie team, along with Queen Egbo, who the Fever selected with the 10th pick in April, and Rebekah Gardner of the Chicago Sky, who debuted in the league this year after spending the start of her professional career overseas.
Howard winning the award and leading the All-Rookie team hardly comes as a surprise, as the former Wildcat standout was the only rookie to earn an All-Star nod this season. She was a 4-time Rookie of the Month selection and averaged 16.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.6 steals in 31.4 minutes per game for the Dream, which went 14-22 this season. Along with Tiffany Hayes, Howard had the distinction of being the team’s leading scorer.