Rio women's hoops adds Howard
April 6, 2011By Mark Williams of University of Rio Grande
Rio Grande --- The University of Rio Grande RedStorm women's basketball program has added another recruit to the 2011-12 recruiting class. She is Morgan Howard of Meigs High School.
Howard, a 5'9" forward, was All-Tri-Valley Conference all four years of high school and led the Lady Marauders in scoring in each of the last two seasons and was the team's top rebounder all four years. She closed her prep career as the school's all-time leading rebounder. Howard eclipsed the 1,000-career point plateau during Meigs' post-season run this past year. She also led the team in free-throw shooting, connecting on 76 percent of her attempts.
Howard made 2nd team all-district as a sophomore and was 1st team all-district as a junior and senior as well as earning honorable mention All-Ohio honors.
"I am very honored to play for Rio Grande," Howard said. "I never thought that I would have this opportunity, and I feel very blessed to have made it this far."
Howard stated a couple of factors in her choosing Rio Grande as a college destination. "It is close to home and I enjoy the small town atmosphere," Howard said. "I grew up in a community like Rio Grande, and I feel like I will do my best there."
Howard added that being from the area she has some familiarity with Rio Grande. "My dad has worked near this area for several years, so I am familiar with the surroundings there," Howard said.
Rio Grande head coach David Smalley talks about his newest recruit. "We're excited to have Morgan Howard join our family at the University of Rio Grande and the women's basketball program," Smalley said. "Morgan is a local high school standout basketball player, played her career at Meigs High School under Coach Carl Wolfe."
"Morgan has attained a high I.Q. of basketball, playing in Coach Wolfe's very disciplined type of program," Smalley added. "She is very solid fundamentally and then with Morgan's winning attitude, I think she's ready to make the next step to the college level. I think she has a good, solid base of fundamentals and discipline that's going to make my job easier when she starts playing for the University of Rio Grande."
Smalley talked about where he feels Howard will fit into the program. "Morgan will bring to our women's basketball program a mixture of inside experience of playing with her back to the basket and then I believe we'll be able to work with her maybe facing the basket and playing a little bit of the forward spot or the three-spot," Smalley said.
"She has a scorer's mentality, she scored over 1,000 points in her high school career and I think once she learns the system and gets acclimated to what we're wanting to get accomplished, I think she has some great years ahead of her," he added.
Smalley also said Howard is a very good student as well as basketball player. "Morgan is a very solid student in the classroom, she has a great work ethic in the classroom as well as on the basketball court," said Smalley.
Howard discussed what she feels her best assets as a player are and also what she needs to improve on as she prepares for the college game. "I'm a team player, defense is my main priority," she said. "I need to work on my speed."
Howard is hopeful is to be a contributor to the team. "I want to become the best player that I can be," she said. "I want to contribute as much as possible to the team."
Morgan is the daughter of Jesse and Missy Howard of Pomeroy, Ohio.
Howard plans to major in Radiology.
She joins Morgan Daniels of Gallia Academy and Cincinnati State transfer Shardai Morrison-Fountain as the current members of the 2011-12 women's basketball recruiting class.