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Opelika’s Brandon Howard receives first offer
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Opelika’s Brandon Howard receives first offer

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Opelika basketball player Brandon Howard has excelled throughout his time with the Bulldogs and has been a part of some of the team’s biggest moments. Now, Howard has a college offer to show for his efforts.

Howard received an offer from LaGrange College — his first scholarship offer — on Wednesday. The 6-foot-4 forward receives the offer after a standout season in which he helped the Bulldogs reach the subregional round of the state tournament.

“It’s taken early mornings and late nights. I’ve fallen in love with the grind because I know that I have to do it in order to make it and be great at the next level,” Howard said. “It means that the work I’ve been putting in is showing. It feels good. All glory to God.”

Howard had quite a challenge stepping up for Opelika last season after top scorer Taye Fields transferred to Lee-Huntsville, but he did his part to keep the Bulldogs in contention. Howard averaged 14 points and 7.2 rebounds per game to help the Bulldogs finish second in the area and reach the state tournament, where they ultimately lost to Calera.

For Howard, the season was a chance to step up as a leader and to help the inexperienced team take strides in their play.

“Competing with great teams and all of the close games were my favorite moments,” Howard said. “It meant a lot because we had a very young team, and a lot of people didn’t think we’d make it that far.”

Howard has stayed busy this offseason despite the pandemic, as he has been in the gym with his trainer in the early hours of the morning. Although that time has been limited, he has been eager to make the most of it because he has many goals he still wants to accomplish.

Howard’s big offseason objectives have been improving his body and doing everything he can to make himself an elite player and leader on the court.

“I continue to push myself day in and day out,” Howard said.

Howard explained he was excited about the upcoming season at Opelika, where he’ll be led by first-year head coach Emanuel Brown. Howard anticipates a different playing style this season, and the challenge is just something else that continues to motivate him.

As far as college, Howard said he’ll choose a school that shows the most interest in him, has coaches that build a relationship with himself and his family, and offer a good fit for him both athletically and academically.

Howard’s work at Opelika has not gone unnoticed, and it has paid off with his first scholarship offer. As much as that offer means to him, Howard is still concentrating on getting better and making the most of his senior year with the Bulldogs.

“I’m very ready and focused,” Howard said. “I know that I have to make it great.”

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