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Howard honored for character


Mad Ants guard Ron Howard won the D-League’s Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award on Friday for the second straight year.

The award, which honors the player who best represents the ideals of character and conduct, on and off the court, was voted on by D-League coaches.

Howard, who is in his seventh season with the Mad Ants, became the league’s all-time leading scorer this season. His Mad Ants lead the best-of-three playoff semifinals 1-0 over Sioux Falls, with Game 2 at 7 p.m. today at Memorial Coliseum.

Howard averaged 20.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 49 regular-season games, as the Mad Ants won the regular-season title with a 36-14 record.

Off the court, he mentors boys at Northwood Middle School, volunteers at a food bank and with the Feed My Starving Children Program, and he’s involved with multiple D-League off-court initiatives.

“As the only two-time NBA D-League Sportsmanship Award winner, Ron has proven that he is the true definition of a great teammate and a fierce competitor,” said Chris Alpert, vice president of basketball operations for the D-League.

“Over the past seven seasons, Ron has demonstrated his steadfast commitment to excelling on and off the court. He is not only a celebrated member of the Fort Wayne community, but is an important part of the NBA D-League family, serving as a role model for his teammates and competitors alike. I congratulate him on an exceptional season in Fort Wayne and thank him for his commitment to the Mad Ants and the NBA D-League.”

The name of the sportsmanship award was changed in 2006 to honor Jason Collier, the former D-League, Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks center who died in 2005 as he readied for his sixth NBA season.