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Rhyne Howard invited to USA Basketball AmeriCup team trials

Howard has won two gold medals playing with USA Basketball since 2018
Kentucky Wildcats guard Rhyne Howard (10) brings the ball up court during the first half of an...
Kentucky Wildcats guard Rhyne Howard (10) brings the ball up court during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against the DePaul Blue Demons on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)(Kamil Krzaczynski | AP)
Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 5:56 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky women’s basketball junior guard Rhyne Howard has been invited to participate in USA Basketball Women’s AmeriCup Team trails. The trail will take place at the University of South Carolina from April 18-21.

Ten nations from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean will take part in the 2021 AmeriCup, held June 11-19 in Puerto Rico. The top four finishing teams will advance to compete in one of four 2022 FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournaments in hopes of earning one of the 12 spots in the 2022 FIBA World Cup field. Australia, host of the 2022 World Cup, and the 2020 Olympic champion, earns an automatic berth to the World Cup, but will be required to participate in the qualifying process.

Howard has had a ton of success playing for USA Basketball as she led the Red, White and Blue in scoring on its way to winning the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup championship in Bangkok, Thailand in the summer of 2019. For her efforts, Howard was tabbed to the all-tournament team. Howard, who had 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks in the championship game, led the USA in scoring throughout the week averaging 13.1 points per game with 5.1 rebounds per game and hitting 44.7 percent from long range.

In the summer of 2018, Howard earned most valuable player honors in Mexico helping the U18 team to a 5-0 gold-medal run in the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championships. Howard shined in every game of the tournament, starting 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 MVP honor after her five points with four rebounds, four assists and two blocks vs. Canada in the title game. Howard also recently competed in the 2019 USA Basketball Women’s 3x3 National Championship in Las Vegas, leading her team to a second-place finish.

Howard’s junior season was one for the record books, earning first-team All-America honors from the Associated Press, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, United States Basketball Writers Association and Wooden Award. She was one of four finalist for the WBCA Wade Trophy, one of five finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, one of four finalists for the 2021 Naismith Trophy and a finalist for the 2021 Cheryl Miller Award. For the second year in a row, Southeastern Conference coaches named Howard the SEC Player of the Year, while she earned All-SEC First Team honors for the third straight season.

Howard – who was the only player in the nation this season to average over 20 points per game with at least 7.3 rebounds per game, 90 assists and 60 steals – had a great junior season for the Wildcats, averaging 20.7 points per game with 7.3 rebounds per game. She hit a team-best 56 3-pointers and had 91 assists, 61 steals and 19 blocks. Although her scoring average is two points lower from last season, Howard showed she is an all-around player and not just a scorer, upping her rebounds per game, assists per game and steals per game average from both her freshman and sophomore seasons.