Bowling Green, Ky. — After a successful freshman season at the University of Louisville, Owensboro, Ky., native Janae Howard has transferred to Western Kentucky University and joined the Lady Topper basketball team.
Howard, a 2008 graduate of Owensboro High School, will sit out the 2009-10 campaign do to NCAA transfer rules, and will have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in the ‘10-11 season.
"When we received the phone call from Janae and knew that she was interested in transferring to WKU, my staff and I were very excited," said Lady Topper head coach Mary Taylor Cowles. "She brings a great deal of talent and will be a tremendous asset to our women’s basketball program."
"After I made the decision to transfer, I knew I had a strong family base here at WKU after being recruited by coach Cowles and her staff in high school," said Howard. "I had a great freshman season at Louisville, but this is definitely a move that felt right, and I’m excited to be a part of Lady Topper basketball."
A 6-foot-1 forward, Howard saw action in 33 games during her freshman season at U of L. She averaged 3.3 points and 1.4 rebounds per game as the Cardinals reached the national championship game of the NCAA Tournament. As a rookie, Howard led the Cardinals from behind the arc, shooting 43.5 percent (20 of 46), while also shooting 40 percent from the field and 66.7 percent at the free throw line. She scored a season-high 13 points on two occasions against St. John’s and Marquette. Howard saw action in five of the Cardinal’s six games in the NCAA Tournament — including both games in the Final Four. She played 12 minutes in a first-round game against Liberty where she finished with six point and three rebounds, and scored three points in five minutes of action in the national title game against Connecticut.
Prior to starting her collegiate career, Howard played five seasons at Owensboro Senior High School. She was named Third Region Player of the Year her junior and senior seasons in 2007 and ‘08, and was an all-state selection each of those two campaigns. Howard earned first-team all-state honors after averaging 26.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game her senior year. She dropped in 17.8 points and pulled down 8.6 rebounds per game as a junior on her way to a second-team all-state selection. Howard helped guide OHS to the regional championship game in 2008 — the same season in which she was ranked as the 41st best player in the nation, and played for the 2008 Kentucky All-Stars.
"Even though she will have to sit out the year, just knowing that Janae has a season at the collegiate level under her belt will be a huge step forward in her development," added Cowles. "With her God-given talents, her length and her ability to shoot the basketball, Janae not only will be a great player for us at the three-spot, but she also has the ability to create mismatches. If she takes advantage of the talent she has, Janae is going to be an extremely valuable college basketball player."