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UK's Rhyne Howard leads Team USA to gold, named tournament MVP

Photo courtesy of USA Basketball

MEXICO CITY, Mexico – University of Kentucky freshman guard Rhyne Howard scored five points with four rebounds, four assists and two blocks to lead the USA U18 Team to the

2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship gold medal with a 84-60 victory over Canada on Tuesday. Howard was named the Tournament’s Most Valuable Player at the end of the event.

Howard shined in every game of the tournament, starting with six points, two rebounds, one assist and a steal vs. Argentina before seven points with eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal vs. Chile. In the final game of pool play vs. Puerto Rico, Howard had 11 points with six rebounds, six steals and one assist. The guard continued to play well in the elimination rounds with eight points, six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal in the quarterfinals vs. El Salvador before 14 points, including 4-of-7 from long range with five assists, two blocks and two steals against Colombia. She locked up the top honor after her performance vs. Canada.

“I was shocked, but I felt good at the same time, because it meant people thought I was playing well enough to earn the honor,” Howard said.

With the win, the USA, which has won nine-straight gold medals at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, is now 59-2 all-time in FIBA Americas U18 Championship play.

More information on the USA U18 Women’s National Team’s run at the FIBA Americas Championship, including roster, schedule and results, can be found at here.

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