Photo courtesy of Marquette University Athletics.
By David Cordova
This season, the Big East Conference has had a great group of guards that put on great performances on the court. But there is one guard that has made plenty of waves throughout this season.
That guard is none other than Markus Howard. The 5-foot-11 sophomore guard from Marquette University. He is a player that is known for his great offensive prowess, as far as his shooting and getting to the basket.
When asked what motivates him to be successful in the game of basketball, he replied, “Just seeing my parents work each and every day, I mean, they just work so hard at their jobs and everything and they sacrificed so much for me. So, with the gift that God’s given me, I want to be able to maximize my potential and be the best player I can be.”
Howard, who hails from Chandler, Arizona, a town about 40 minutes away from Phoenix, has all the tools of a West Coast ball player. “You know, it’s definitely different, coming from Arizona to the Midwest, with the weather change. But you know, I was actually born in New Jersey, lived there for about four, five years, and then I moved to Arizona, so you know, it’s a different culture, different type of people, but it’s been a good change,” says Howard of the differences of the West and the Midwest.
In high school, Howard first started at Perry High School in Gilbert, Arizona, where he scored 23 points per game as a freshman, and was an All-State honoree in both that year and as a sophomore. As a junior, he led the state of Arizona in scoring with 32.4 points in his junior season.
But then sensing a need for new competition, he transferred to national powerhouse Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada. With the Pilots, he led the them in scoring with 18.6 points per game, while also averaging 3.6 assists and leading his team to a 28-2 record and an appearance in the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals tournament in New York City.
When asked about making a move to a national powerhouse program like Findlay Prep after dominating in his home state, Howard replied, “Yeah, you know, it was great, just being around high-level guys like that are going to be doing big things at the college level, being in a college system, practicing each and every day and working out every day. It really prepared me for what I was going to experience here, so it was a great experience overall.”
Howard was also a consensus Top-100 prospect in high school and also won a couple of Gold medals playing for USA Basketball. When all was said and done, he decided to attend Marquette on April 3, 2016, after spurning offers from other schools in the West Coast such as Utah, San Diego State, USC, Oregon, Arizona State and California.
When asked him what made him want to play for the Golden Eagles, Howard replied, “Definitely my relationship with the entire coaching staff. When I was looking at the schools and going through the list, what stuck out to me was not only the relationship I had with the coaches, but the entire administrative staff, everybody, the whole entire campus, it was really welcoming, So, that really stuck out to me, just being able to be around great people.”
And that decision hasn’t turned out so bad after all, as Howard has been producing out in Milwaukee for Marquette. As a freshman, Howard averaged 13.2 points per game, led the nation in three-point field goal percentage with a .547 mark and made the All-Big East Freshman Team.
This year, his performances have been spectacular, as he doubled his scoring average to 20.9 points per game. One of his signature performances for the Golden Eagles, came on January 3rd, when he scored 52 points in a 95-90 overtime win on the road against Providence.
When asked about his exploits in the Providence game, he replied, “You know, do what I could to get my team get a win. You know, we were on the road, playing in a hostile environment and I just wanted to do whatever I could to help us win. What the game presented was me getting to the basket and scoring, so that’s what my team needed me to do, and that’s what happened.”
With Marquette going 18-12, the Golden Eagles are poised to make a deep run in the Big East Tournament and plan to make a possible appearance in the NCAA Tournament, or if that falls through, the NIT.
“You know, I see us going up. Hopefully, we get on the right track.” said Howard.
And with Howard’s spectacular play, there’s nowhere for him to go but up, as he is definitely a future pro just waiting to happen.
Highlights of Markus Howard:
Courtesy of Marquette Golden Eagles.
Courtesy of AZ’s Finest Mixtape.
Courtesy of Marquette Golden Eagles.
Courtesy of Bandman Highlights.
Courtesy of Courtside Films.