Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Junior contributing on court, humble off court

From leading a high school team to a championship to being a solid all-around player for the Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team, Ian Howard is a strong influence on the court. Off the court, Ian Howard is strong in other ways.

Ian Howard joined his school’s basketball team in the seventh grade because his stature made it a good fit for him.

“A friend recommended me for the team because I was 6 feet 1 inch in seventh grade,” Ian Howard said.

That decision contributed to Ian Howard’s senior year at Springfield-Gardens High School when he led the team to a Public School Athletic League (PSAL) championship. Ian Howard was the team leader in both points and assists that season. According to the PSAL website, Ian Howard collected 213 rebounds in 12 games.

According to the New York Daily News, the PSAL championship was the first for Springfield-Gardens High School since 1983, when the team was led by former New York Knicks player Anthony Mason. For Ian Howard, this championship was the highlight of his high school years.

That year was also the one in which PSUC entered the discussion for Ian Howard.

“At the championship game, I was recruited by [former PSUC assistant] coach [Cameron] Conover and [PSUC head] coach [Tom] Curle,” Ian Howard said.

Despite also being approached by SUNYAC rivals Brockport, Cortland and Oswego, Ian Howard’s decision to join the Cards was made when he visited PSUC for the first time.
“When I came here, it felt warm and welcoming,” Ian Howard said. “Coach Curle told me about the program and the seniors treated me well.”

After playing a secondary role in his freshman year, Ian Howard stepped up in minutes, points, and rebounds in his sophomore year. This season, the junior is playing a larger role with increased minutes and leads the Cards in rebounds and free throws made.

Despite his presence on the court, Ian Howard, who is a social work major, describes himself as a quiet and shy person who can usually only be found in either the classroom or the gym.
This view was echoed by the player’s mother, Iris Howard.

“He is a very quiet boy who loves to help his mother,” Iris Howard said. “I don’t even have to ask him to do my laundry.”

For Iris Howard, her son’s greatest achievement is in being a role model for the young children in his pentecostal church community.

“He has gone to church all of his life,” Iris Howard said. “I don’t have to remind him to go. If he goes out on Saturday night, he will still be up and ready for church on Sunday.”
Outside of basketball and church, Ian Howard also loves his siblings, according to Iris Howard. Ian Howard, the only boy in the family, has three sisters who have all begun their careers as a doctor, a nurse, and a social worker.

Iris Howard said she knew her son was “gifted”, but she never thought about him pursuing collegiate basketball. However, she is pleased with what she has seen on the court.
“I am very proud of him, of what he achieved in high school, and of the way he carries himself on the court,” Iris Howard said.

Email Nathanael LePage at

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