Courtesy: Fort Wayne Mad Ants
NEW YORK, April 16, 2013 - Fort Wayne Mad Ants guard/forward Ron Howard is the recipient of the 2013 Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award, as voted on by the NBA Development League's 16 head coaches, it was announced today. The award honors the player who best represents the ideals of character and conduct on and off the court.
A six-year NBA D-League veteran and member of the Mad Ants, Howard appeared in 35 games for the Mad Ants this season, averaging 19.1 points, good for second best in his career, to go with 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 33.4 minutes. Howard led Fort Wayne to the team's first postseason appearance, where he averaged 23.5 points and 25.5 minutes in two games before the team fell to the Santa Cruz Warriors.
A 2013 NBA D-League All-Star, Howard scored six points in 20 minutes during the 2013 NBA D-League All-Star Game in Houston. In 198 career games for Fort Wayne, Howard owns averages of 16.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 33.1 minutes.
An active member of the Fort Wayne community, Howard has made more than 150 appearances over the last six seasons, including visits to local schools and food banks as part of the team's Get Fit Challenge, Read to Achieve initiative and Save Smart Program.
"Over the last six seasons, Ron has defined what it means to be a good teammate and has become an important member of the Fort Wayne community," said Chris Alpert, Vice President of Basketball Operations and Player Personnel for the NBA D-League. "Ron's unwavering commitment to the Mad Ants and the city of Fort Wayne has been unparalleled and his obvious passion for the game makes him an invaluable asset to his team. I congratulate Ron on his most successful season in Fort Wayne yet, and thank him for his dedication to being a role model in our League."
The name of the Sportsmanship Award was changed in 2006 to honor former NBA D-League, Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks center Jason Collier, who passed away suddenly on Oct. 15, 2005. Collier was a 2003-04 All-NBA D-League First Team selection as a member of the Fayetteville Patriots, but more importantly was a player and person who exemplified the qualities of a faithful teammate, husband, father, son, brother and friend. He was ready to begin his sixth NBA season at the time of his death.
All-Time Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award Winners:
2011-12: Moses Ehambe, Iowa Energy
2010-11: Larry Owens, Tulsa 66ers
2009-10: Andre Ingram, Utah Flash
2008-09: Will Conroy, Albuquerque Thunderbirds
2007-08: Billy Thomas, Colorado 14ers
2007-08: Roger Powell, Arkansas RimRockers
2006-07: Ime Udoka, Fort Worth Flyers