Posted On: 09/23/18 5:00 AM

D’Marco Howard (2019) is a 6’2” combo guard from Hamilton who prefers to play the one in a style reminiscent of Russell Westbrook. Junior season averages of 17.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.2 assists provide backing to his claim.

“Last year I was more of a scorer. They just wanted me to score,” Howard said. “But this year I want to facilitate and get others involved. Also, I have to rebound a lot more.

“I’m a point guard,” Howard said. “I’m trying to model myself after [Russell] Westbrook — somebody who can attack the basket, find others when they’re open, and can rebound the ball.”

Howard’s most distinct attribute is athleticism. He blends power, speed, and elusiveness, all qualities that shine while he has the ball. What we mean is that Howard doesn’t occasionally jump up for an impressive rebound or dunk on the fast-break. His athleticism isn’t fleeting.

Instead, Howard imposes his athletic talents with the ball in his hands and in short spaces in half-court offense. He has the explosiveness to get past an initial defender, then quickness to elude help-side just enough so that he can finish with power at the rim.

He also maximizes those gifts by playing with intensity on the defensive end of the floor. Howard can defend the one through three with excellent hips, strong chest, and lateral quickness.

The senior has undeniable talent. The only thing standing in his way from a college offer seems to be his ACT score of 17 and 2.3 GPA. Howard, he says, will re-take the ACT in October and has been enrolled in a preparation course since his last attempt.

Nonetheless, colleges from the Division I to Division III level have kept tabs on Howard.

“Not too long ago I went to a visit to Heidelberg. I’ve been talking to them a lot,” he said. “Youngstown. Miami Oxford, they were just at my open gym. The coach said he really liked my game. He said he is going to follow-up on me. Indianapolis coach. Walsh University. And those are just some of the main schools.”

Howard went to Indianapolis’ Elite Camp in late-August, where Prep Hoops Indiana noted him as the best athlete in the gym.

At last weekend’s Prep Hoops Top 250 Expo we named Howard the Upperclassmen MVP for his marvelous showing as a two-way player and teammate. He’s been getting it done! And Howard informed us at the event that he’d prefer to enroll in a four-year college following this season, rather than going JUCO.

He generally just seems ready for that level, and believes he’s good enough to play at a D-I.  

“Basically [I want to go] where I get playing time and also where I fit into the offense. And then another major thing is, do they have what I want to major in … business management or physical therapy.” Howard said.

Alongside the schools interested in him, we’ll wait and see how the October ACT attempt goes for Howard. Pulling in good grades as a senior is also a must. Otherwise, he will be among Ohio’s top junior college prospects come springtime.