INDIANAPOLIS, In. (FOX 56) – After Rhyne Howard’s final collegiate game in the NCAA tournament, Kentucky head women’s basketball coach Kyra Elzy said her superstar would “take the WNBA by storm” when she gets there. She has officially arrived.
Howard scored 33 points, the most of any WNBA player this season, to lead the Atlanta Dream to a win over the Indiana Fever on Sunday, 85-79 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. She was selected by the Dream with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft last month.
A group of over 60 Kentucky fans took a bus up to Indianapolis to watch Howard play in just her fourth professional game, playing with the same poise and flare that she showed through her four seasons playing for the Wildcats in Lexington.
“It was super special, they made this game feel like a home game,” Howard said. “It just shows how much love they have for their players not just me but if it was anybody else they would have done the same so it just speaks a lot on Big Blue Nation and how they care for their players.”
After the game, she celebrated the win with those faithful Kentucky fans, including Elzy who was there with her son getting to cheer on Howard from the stands as opposed to coaching her on the sidelines as she did in Lexington.
“It was through a different lens to sit back and watch her do her thing sit back and cheer and I’m super excited,” Elzy said. “To see her do the things she learned in our program she’s doing now and so we’re just ecstatic for her as you saw we brought Big Blue Nation with us today we will love her forever Wildcat through and through.”
Howard said her goals this season are to win Rookie of the Year and to help her team reach the playoffs. Her accomplishments at UK are headlined by multiple first-team All-American honors and an SEC tournament championship back in March.