Recently, I had the chance to interview 2012 SF recruit William Howard. Howard is a 6’9″ forward who can play inside-out. He has a smooth 3-point shot, is a good free throw shooter, and likes to get inside to collect rebounds as well. In essence, he is a classic European-style player. But, he would seem to fit Romar’s style of play quite well, since he runs the floor well and has those wing-like characteristics that Romar loves. Think of him as taller version of the shooting guards Romar usually brings in who likes to get inside as well. Here is the interview:
Jeff Taylor: William, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions from the Husky Haul. You’ve been a bit of a mystery since you first appeared on the radar of Washington Husky fans last fall. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Can you describe the area/village where you grew up and how you got into playing basketball?
William Howard: I grew up in a little town in the southeast of France. My dad used to play and coach basketball and my mum played too. I always been in basketball environment my whole life.
Jeff Taylor: When did you realize that you were good enough in basketball to begin pursuing it at the highest levels (college and/or professionally?).
William Howard: I realized that I could play college ball when I played as a Euroleague Junior with INSEP. After a trip to Serbia, I started to receive messages from college coaches in the United States.
Jeff Taylor: What exactly is INSEP?
William Howard: It is the Institut National du Sport, de l’Expertise et de la Performance. It is the school where the top young athletes of France in many sports attend. In basketball, it was where Tony Parker and Boris Diaw went.
Jeff Taylor: I’ve seen from your tweets that you are a big fan of the Champions League and Ligue 1. Did you also play soccer (football) before focusing on basketball and what position?
William Howard: Of course I’m a soccer fan but, I never played soccer.
Jeff Taylor: What made you decide to come to America to pursue an education and to play college basketball, as opposed to staying in France to pursue a professional career?
William Howard: I have been talking about it for a while. After the experiences at INSEP, I felt more comfortable to go to the USA than to stay and play in France. I guess I wanted to discover something new.
Jeff Taylor: You were quoted in an interview last year that you love to shoot 3-pointers. What other aspects of your game would you consider to be your strengths and what do you feel you still need to work on?
William Howard: My biggest strength is my 3-point shot and I can take rebounds well. But, I need to work on lifting weights and getting stronger, being a better defender, and how to go to the basket with more authority. New Hope has taught me a lot about how to play tougher and to be more aggressive.
Jeff Taylor: What specifically has made you so interested in attending the University of Washington? Is it Coach Romar, the style of play, the location?
William Howard: It is mostly because they have followed me for a long time and they have shown a lot of interest in me.
Jeff Taylor: Have you had a chance to visit Seattle and the University of Washington yet?
William Howard: No.
Jeff Taylor: Have you had a chance to visit any of the other universities you are considering?
William Howard: Yes, I have visited UCF (University of Central Florida)
Jeff Taylor: Is there an NBA player (past or present) that you consider your game and style to be similar to?
William Howard: Not really, but I like Kevin Durant
Jeff Taylor: What things about being away from France do you miss the most?
William Howard: I miss my family and my friends and some of the French foods I enjoy.
Jeff Taylor: Do you know Mouhammadou Jaiteh? We heard that he was on campus visiting UW this week.
William Howard: Yes, I know Mouhamadou. I played with him at INSEP and on the French National Team. He is a center. He takes a lot of rebounds and he can score too.
Jeff Taylor: Well, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to Husky Haul. We wish you the best of luck in the future, wherever that may take you!