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Juwan shooting for NBA

By VITO CHIRCO/ VN SPORTS EDITOR
On April 7, 2015

All good things come to an end, including Juwan Howard Jr.’s four-year run at UDM. 

But the Detroit Pershing graduate isn’t looking to stop playing basketball just yet. 

His eyes are set on doing what his daddy, Juwan Howard, did: Play in the National Basketball Association. 

Is he good enough?

Observers offer a mix of views.

Perry Watson, Juwan’s dad’s former assistant coach at the University of Michigan, thinks he could have a chance.

Watson, inducted into the Titans Hall of Fame class after compiling 261 victories and 10 winning campaigns in his nearly 15 Titan seasons, believes Howard might get to live out his life-long dream of playing against the likes of Stephen Curry, James Harden and LeBron James

But only if he continues to make strides in playing smart and efficient basketball on both sides of the floor.  

Detroit Free Press Pistons writer Perry Farrell, however, doesn’t believe Howard will make it. 

Farrell expects a team in the NBA Development League to be a more likely destination for the two-time, second-team All-Horizon League selection.

Howard, the third-leading scorer in the HL during the 2014-15 season, knows there are doubters regarding his ability to get to “The Association.”

The doubters have made references to his lack of quickness to play on the wing and his lack of size to defend and score over the top of power forwards and centers. 

He doesn’t care too much about what the doubters are saying, though. 

And Titans all-time leading scorer Rashad Phillips, a two-time Horizon League Player of the Year who dealt with his own critics during his playing career due to being under six feet tall, thinks Howard is wise to not let the criticism get the best of him. 

Phillips believes that Howard, depending on how he fares in his summer workouts leading up to the draft, could have his NBA dream realized. 

Although Howard’s ability level can be doubted, his drive to become the best all-around baller at his 6-foot-5 frame cannot be. 

“I will give my 100 percent best, no matter if it’s practice, film or games,” Howard said.

He has done so no matter what the pundits have said about his inability to advance to the next level. 

It fuels the fire he has for the game of basketball. 

“I use them (my doubters) as motivation and show them through my actions, not my words,” Howard said.

He’s not going to allow anyone to kill the Kendrick Lamar-kind of vibe he has on the basketball court. 

He also is not going to allow anyone to diminish the motivation he has for getting to the superstar-driven league out of love for his mom, Markita Blyden, arguably the biggest supporter he’s had throughout his basketball career.

She was a basketball player herself during her time at Detroit Murray Wright, where she was a runner-up for Michigan Miss Basketball.

If he ever reaches the NBA, he said he will do whatever he can to show appreciation to his mom for her constant support throughout the years.

No matter how grand or small the gift that Howard buys his mom, it will never be able to equal her son’s pursuit of his NBA dream. 

There is no monetary value or price tag to be applied to making a dream come to fruition, which makes his journey to suit up for one of the NBA’s 30 teams that much more meaningful.

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