Bearettes' Rhyne Howard Will Play College Hoops At Kentucky

Led Bradley Central To 32-1 Record In Junior Season

Friday, May 19, 2017 - by Larry Fleming
Bradley Central basketball standout guard Rhyne Howard (23) announced Friday morning that she will sign a SEC scholarship with the University of Kentucky.
Bradley Central basketball standout guard Rhyne Howard (23) announced Friday morning that she will sign a SEC scholarship with the University of Kentucky.
- photo by Dennis Norwood/File Photo

Bradley Central basketball standout Rhyne Howard has announced that she will sign a SEC scholarship to the University of Kentucky.

Howard chose the Lady Wildcats over national champion South Carolina and Purdue. All three schools have well-respected engineering programs and that was a major factor in Howard having those three programs on her final list.

The 6-foot-2 junior narrowed the potential choices from six a week ago, scratching Florida, Georgia Tech and North Carolina State.

Howard’s mother played at Florida.

The Cleveland Daily Banner broke the news Friday morning.

Howard wrote on her Twitter account: “I have decided to continue my academic and athletic careers at the University of Kentucky. Go Wildcats!”

“I’m happy I’ve made my decision,” Howard said in a telephone interview. “Now everybody won’t be asking me where I’m going to college.”

Howard made visits to her final three schools this spring. First was South Carolina. Then Kentucky (April 22-24) and finally Purdue. She enjoyed all three trips, but the Lady Wildcats, in the end, won her over.

“Everyone there welcomed me right from the start,” she said. “They’ve texted me every day, even up to this week.”

Another key factor in Howard’s decision was the drive time to Lexington, Kentucky.

“The distance from home was a big thing for me,” Howard said. “My family and friends can come see me play at Kentucky.”

Howard, a 4-star guard who played her eighth-grade season at East Hamilton before transferring to Bradley Central, has earned back-to-back All-District 5-3A Player of the Year honors and also is a Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-State performer.

She was a runner-up for the 2017 Class 3A Miss Basketball and is ranked No. 33 on the 2018 ESPN Prospect list and the N. 10 guard. If Howard turns in a stellar senior season, she most likely would climb much higher on the ESPN recruiting chart.

The All-Star Girls Report ranks Howard as the country’s 21st player overall.

Howard’s 1,753 points rank 14th on Bradley Central’s all-time scoring list.

Howard, Bradley’s only starter that will return for the 2017-18 season, averaged 9.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.6 steals, 3.8 assists and 1.2 blocks during her junior season that ended with a 55-49 sectional loss to Stewarts Creek. That was the Bearettes’ only loss in 33 games.

One of the nation’s top point guards, Howard averaged 18.5 points as a sophomore.

Howard shared her expectations for the 2017-18 season.

"I'm going to try and pass Brittany Jackson (2,470 career points, third-best behind Dale Caldwell's 3,011 and Liz Hannah's 2,693 on the school's all-time list), I'd like to win Miss Basketball and lead my team to state and actually win it next year," she said.

(Contact Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com and on Twitter @larryfleming44)

 

 

 



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