Bradley Central grad Rhyne Howard stars for Kentucky, looks toward WNBA future

AP photo by Wade Payne / Kentucky guard Rhyne Howard, left, collides with Tennessee guard Jordan Walker while driving around a screen by Dre'una Edwards during Sunday's SEC basketball showdown in Knoxville. Howard, a former Bradley Central High School standout, scored a game-high 24 points, but No. 5 Tennessee beat the No. 19 Wildcats 84-58.

KNOXVILLE - When one is confident in his or her training, there's no need to worry.

That's why Kentucky senior guard Rhyne Howard plays basketball so effortlessly. It's also why her mother, Rhvonja "RJ" Avery, doesn't appear to get overly stressed when watching her daughter play a high-profile Southeastern Conference matchup.

Each knows the work the former Bradley Central High School standout has put into the game to get where she is now: among the best in the nation.

The awards snubs that appeared to haunt the Cleveland, Tennessee, native in her high school career as well as her early days at the next level are more of a distant memory.

Just last season, Howard was a first-team All-American by every major publication, as well as a finalist for the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Wade Trophy, one of five finalists for the John R.