WNBA draft: Behind the scenes with No. 1 pick Rhyne Howard

NEW YORK — As Rhyne Howard waited for the 2022 WNBA draft to commence, her stomach started to hurt. She said as much to her mother, RJ Avery, who told her daughter to grab her hand and start taking deep breaths. “In and out,” Avery repeated.

The exercise did little to quell Howard’s nerves.

At 7:12 p.m. ET, surrounded by Avery, her brother RaShawn and Kentucky coach Kyra Elzy, Howard learned she would be the No. 1 pick in the draft, belonging to the Dream. She approached the stage and posed for a picture with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert. And then she began to sway, doing so, Howard says, “so you couldn’t see how much I was actually shaking.”

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