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Byron native Ayoka Lee adds another All-America honor

After being named first team All-America by The Athletic and Sports Illustrated last week, Byron native and Kansas State women's basketball standout Ayoka Lee has been named to the Associated Press All-America second team.

Ayoka Lee kansas state.jpg
Kansas State's Ayoka Lee is one of the most dominant centers in the country. (Photo courtesy Kansas State Athletics)
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Byron native Ayoka Lee has added another honor to her resume, in a season that has been full of them for the 6-foot-6 center at Kansas State University.

Last week, Lee was named a first team All-American by The Athletic and Sports Illustrated.

This week, she was named a second team All-American by the Associated Press.

Lee has averaged 22.6 points on 56% field-goal shooting, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks. Her 679 total points are second in the nation, she leads the country in field goals made (279) and is the only player to average more than 20 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Lee is a candidate for virtually every top women’s basketball honor, including the 2021-22 Wade Trophy Watch List and the 2022 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year top 15.

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Lee and the Wildcats (19-12) open play in the NCAA tournament at 10:30 a.m. Saturday against Washington State at Raleigh, N.C. The game is scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN2.

Howard tops All-America teams

Kentucky guard Rhyne Howard is an Associated Press first team All-American for the third time.

The other first-team choices, announced Wednesday evening, are South Carolina's Aliyah Boston, Iowa's Caitlin Clark, Baylor's NaLyssa Smith, Michigan's Naz Hillmon and Stanford's Haley Jones.

Howard is the ninth player to be a first-team choice at least three times. The others are Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu, South Carolina's A'ja Wilson, Baylor's Brittney Griner, Tennessee's Chamique Holdsclaw, Duke's Alana Beard, Oklahoma's Courtney Paris and the UConn duo of Breanna Stewart and Maya Moore.

Moore and Paris were first-team choices on four occasions.

Howard averaged 20.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.4 steals for the Wildcats (19-11), who won their first Southeastern Conference tournament crown since 1982.

"Rhyne Howard is the best player in women's college basketball and completely worthy of being a three-time, first-team AP All-American," Wildcats coach Kyra Elzy said on the school's website. "She is the most versatile player I have ever coached. What sets her apart from everyone else is that she can play every position on the floor and be offensively and defensively exceptional at each.

"Her legacy at Kentucky is unmatched and we are so proud of all she has accomplished."

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While Howard was not unanimously voted to the first team, Boston, Clark and Smith all were. And Hillmon and Jones tied for votes for the final fifth spot on the First Team.

Named to the Second Team were Kansas State's Ayoka Lee, Iowa State's Ashley Joens, DePaul's Aneesah Morrow, LSU's Khayla Pointer and N.C. State's Elissa Cunane.

Selected to the Third Team were Virginia Tech's Elizabeth Kitley, Villanova's Maddy Siegrist, Northwestern's Veronica Burton, Stanford's Cameron Brink and Maryland's Angel Reese.

UConn's Paige Bueckers, the National Player of the Year last season, was an honorable mention choice despite missing 2 1/2 months due to a knee injury.

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