Sunday December 3, 2023

No. 1 Pick Rhyne Howard Poised for Big Endorsements, $227K Deal

  • Howard was a two-time first-team All-American and SEC Player of the Year at Kentucky.
  • She already holds endorsement deals with WingStop, Powerade, Reebok, and Direct Auto Insurance.
Saul Young-News Sentinel
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The Atlanta Dream made a splash on April 6, acquiring the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA Draft from the Mystics for the third and 14th picks.

On Monday, the Dream selected Kentucky shooting guard Rhyne Howard — a positive force both on and off the court.

A two-time First-Team All-American and two-time SEC Player of the Year, Howard led the Wildcats in points (20.5), blocks (1.3), steals (2.3) and three-point percentage (38.3%) en route to an SEC Tournament title during her final season in Lexington.

The 21-year-old’s basketball prowess has already sparked financial opportunities.

  • As a top-four pick, Howard is in line for a three-year, $226,668 contract with a $91,981 team option for a fourth year, per the WNBA’s rookie scale.
  • The Tennessee native holds endorsement deals with Wingstop, Powerade, Reebok, and Direct Auto Insurance.
  • She was one of the most prominent NIL advocates in Kentucky, speaking at a ceremony before the state’s Senate Bill 6 was signed into law.

Under first-time head coach Tanisha Wright, Howard will attempt to turn around a franchise that has been mired in mediocrity in recent years — but history suggests a top pick can work wonders for the Dream.

The last time they drafted first overall, they took five-time All-Star Angel McCoughtry in 2009 — and made the WNBA Finals three times between 2010 and 2013.

Unfortunately, the Dream failed to win a single game in any of those Finals — and have only advanced once in a playoff series since.

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