Bradley Central grad Rhyne Howard landslide pick as WNBA rookie of year

AP photo by Brandon Wade / Atlanta Dream rookie Rhyne Howard dribbles during a game against the Dallas Wings on May 7 in Arlington, Texas.

ATLANTA — Atlanta Dream guard Rhyne Howard, the former Bradley Central High School star from Cleveland, Tennessee, was an overwhelming choice as WNBA rookie of the year in the league-issued honor announced Thursday.

The versatile 6-foot-2 Howard received 53 of 56 votes to become only the second Atlanta player to win the award. Angel McCoughtry was the 2009 choice as the league's top rookie. Howard also was a nearly unanimous choice as rookie of the year in WNBA honors announced by the AP earlier this month after averaging 16.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals this season.

Howard led Kentucky to the Southeastern Conference tournament title earlier this year and was the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft. She then led all rookies in points (16.2), assists (2.8), steals (1.6) and minutes (31.4) per game.

Among all players, Howard ranked 11th in scoring, and her 85 makes from 3-point range were third in the league while setting a WNBA record for rookies. She swept the four rookie of the month awards during the season, helping the Dream improve on last year's record by six wins and contend for a playoff spot before falling short.