The rest of this year’s TBT tournament field is officially on watch.
Wake The Nation’s Roster Launch week comes to a close with an absolutely massive final addition to the squad: Former ACC Player of the Year and NBA All-Star Josh Howard. Howard, now the head coach at local Winston-Salem university Piedmont International, will be back in Black and Gold this summer playing with fellow Deacon stars of the last 20 years. The team is still looking to add 1-2 more pieces, but at the moment LD Williams, Travis McKie, Justin Gray, Nikita Mescheriakov, Eric Williams, and Devin Thomas are already committed. You can check out their BSD roster announcement articles by clicking on their names above.
Howard is considered one of the best to ever put on a Demon Deacon uniform, playing for both Dave Odom and Skip Prosser from 1999-2003. He is the last Demon Deacon to win the ACC Player of the Year Award in his senior season, where he was a consensus First Team All-American and First Team All-ACC member. This was also the most recent year Wake Forest won the ACC Regular Season Title on a 13-3 campaign. He finished his Wake Forest career with over 1,700 points, 800 rebounds, 200 steals, 200 assists, and 100 blocks, making him one of the most complete players to ever wear Black and Gold.
After leaving Winston-Salem, Howard went on to have an excellent career in the NBA playing 10 seasons for Dallas, Washington, Utah, and Minnesota. The bulk of his production came on the Mavericks between 2005-2009, where he averaged more than 15 PPG in each season and was voted an NBA All-Star in 2007. The following year he had arguably the best game of his NBA career, a 47-point outbreak against Utah where he was 14-19 from the field, 15-17 from the line, and grabbed in 10 rebounds for good measure. He was a fan favorite in Dallas over the course of his career there, and Dallas’ popular Fansided blog listed Howard #8 on their Top 10 list of Mavs in the 21st century.
After the conclusion of his NBA career, Howard decided to return home to Winston-Salem to become the Head Coach of Piedmont International University in 2016. He actually returned to The Joel with Piedmont International in November of that year for an exhibition game, in which the Deacs took the matchup 118-48.
Before last year's exhibition with Piedmont International, Josh Howard reflected on his WFU career, including these memories of Skip Prosser pic.twitter.com/OoFKXCv9Ir— Wake Basketball (@WakeMBB) July 26, 2017
Howard will undoubtedly be one of the most experienced players in this year’s TBT field, and is just a few years out from a very successful NBA career. His leadership and talent will help propel Wake The Nation to a be a title contender from Day 1 in the tournament, with the team shooting for that $2m grand prize. Howard is also a name that non-Wake Forest fans will recognize immediately, and could lead to the Deacs picking up neutral fans along the way as they “Survive & Advance” in August.
While Wake The Nation Roster Launch Week has closed with a bang, the squad is still not complete and a few more additions may be on the way in the coming weeks. For all your latest Wake Forest TBT news, stay tuned to BSD and be sure to follow the Wake The Nation’s Twitter account @WakeDaNationTBT.
PSA: If you haven’t become a “Supporter” on the Official TBT site of the Wake Forest team, sign up here. It’s free, takes 10 seconds, and the Top 9 vote-getting teams of the South Region are automatically selected for the tournament. Help some of your favorite Deacon stars on “Wake The Nation” get a bid to one of the best sporting events of the summer here.
Official “Wake The Nation” TBT Site: https://thetournament.com/teams/wake-nation-wake-forest-alumni