TAMPA, Florida (April 3, 2019) — Rhyne Howard, from The University of Kentucky, is the winner of the 2019 WBCA NCAA Division I Freshman of the Year presented by adidas, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced today.

The Freshman of the Year award honors the best NCAA Division I women’s basketball freshman or redshirt freshman. All conference freshman players of the year in NCAA Division I are considered for the award. If a conference does not select a freshman player of the year, the conference office can nominate one player to be considered.

“Energy, enthusiasm, effort and effectiveness — these are hallmark pillars that each coach hopes their first-year, student-athletes will contribute to the team,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. “The WBCA and adidas recognize the important contribution of first-year student-athletes. I am pleased to present the WBCA NCAA Division I Freshman of the Year award to Rhyne Howard.  Rhyne most certainly contributed to the University of Kentucky’s success and we recognize and applaud her immediate impact this season.”

This season, Howard averaged 6.6 rebounds and 16.4 points per game while shooting 44.6 percent from the field. She was named the Southeastern Conference’s Freshman of the Year and earned first team All-SEC honors. Last summer, she helped USA Basketball’s U18 National Team win gold and was named the tournament’s MVP. The Tennessee native was the 2018 Gatorade Player of the Year for her home state and was named Tennessee Miss Basketball.

“adidas is proud to partner with WBCA to raise visibility for women’s basketball and celebrate greatness in the game” said adidas U.S. Sr. Manager of Collegiate Partnerships Beth Bass.

About adidas 
adidas has been providing innovative products for the world’s best athletes for more than 60 years, from past legends to today’s superstars, such as James Harden, Derrick Rose, Damian Lillard, Andrew Wiggins and Kyle Lowry and top collegiate basketball programs including Kansas, Louisville and Indiana.

About the WBCA 
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association is the professional association for coaches of women's and girls' basketball at all levels of competition. The WBCA offers educational resources that coaches need to help make themselves better leaders, teachers and mentors to their players; provides opportunities for coaches to connect with peers in the profession; serves as the unifying voice of a diverse community of coaches to the organizations that control the game; and celebrates those coaches, players and other individuals who excel each year and contribute to the advancement of the sport. Visit for more details about the Association.