Bradley Central's Rhyne Howard named Gatorade Player of the Year
CHICAGO (March 19, 2018) — The Gatorade Company announced Monday that Rhyne Howard of Bradley Central High School is the 2017-18 Gatorade Tennessee Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
Howard is the first Gatorade Tennessee Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Bradley Central High School. The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Howard as Tennessee’s best high school girls basketball player.
Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award announced in March, Howard joins an elite alumni association of past state girls basketball award-winners, including Maya Moore (2005-06 Collins Hill HS, Ga.), Rashanda McCants (2004-05, Asheville HS, N.C.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Diana Taurasi (1998-99 & 1999-00, Don Antonio Lugo HS, Calif.), Shyra Ely (1999-00, Ben Davis HS, Ind.) and Lisa Leslie (1988-89, Morningside HS, Calif.).
The 6-foot-2 senior guard led the Bears to a 33-1 record and the Class AAA state final this past season. Howard averaged 22.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 5.3 steals and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 63 percent from inside the 3-point arc. Named Class AAA Miss Basketball in Tennessee, Howard has been chosen as a member of the 2018 Jordan Brand Classic roster.
She is rated as the nation’s No. 31 prospect and the No. 10 guard in the Class of 2018 by espnW.
An active youth group member at First Baptist Church of Cleveland, Howard has donated her time to Ladders for Leaders, where she mentors inner-city children. She has also volunteered locally with the Special Olympics. “I’ve told everyone all year that (Rhyne) is the best player in our state,” said Hunter Gremore, head coach at East Hamilton High. “After Christmas, she really stepped it up even more. There are a lot of good players, but Rhyne’s a special one.” Howard has maintained a weighted 3.62 GPA in the classroom.
She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at the University of Kentucky beginning this fall.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Howard joins recent Gatorade Tennessee Girls Basketball Players of the Year Anastasia Hayes (2016-17, Riverdale High School), Crystal Dangerfield (2015-16, 2014-15 & 2013-14, Blackman High School), Nina Davis (2012-13, Central High School), Bashaara Graves (2011- 12, Clarksville High School), Shacobia Barbee (2010-11, Riverdale High School), Taylor Hall (2009-10, Morristown-Hamblen High School West), Faith Dupree (2008-09, Webb School of Knoxville), Glory Johnson (2007-08, Webb School of Knoxville), and Glory Johnson (2006–07, Webb School of Knoxville) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Rhyne will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.