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IMG Academy Senior Basketball Star Jett Howard Talks With SportsEdTV
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Jett Howard is an upcoming senior in the class of 2022 at IMG Academy. SportsEdTV sat down with Jett to talk about several topics that involve being a young athlete, evolving into an elite player, and what life is like at one of the top basketball schools in the country.
At 6’6, 180 lbs, Howard plays the shooting guard at IMG and in the Nike EYBL circuit with South Florida’s Nightriders program. Heading into his final season of AAU, High School and ameature basketball, Howard is ranked the No. 48 prospect in the country by 247 Sports, but tells us he has a lot to prove.
With all eyes on Jett, we turn the conversation to what steps other athlete’s can take to raise their game to the next level.
SportsEdTV: How do you feel going into your senior year?
Jett Howard: I feel good. I feel like I'm ready to go. I feel like I've been waiting for this moment for all my life because I don't really get to get put in a position to score the ball and to be that guy. So I have been waiting for this, so I'm happy.
SportsEdTV: Tell me about a typical day at IMG in the regular and offseason. What are some of the sacrifices that you make?
Jett Howard: At IMG, I thought it was going to be sweet, not going to lie to you, but during the season, this season, I wake up at seven a.m. to do some extra work and before lift. I go to lift for about an hour. And then right after lift, you got practice. So you got to get in. You got to stay ready. From there we go to lunch, then have school for only like three hours. It's not that bad. After school, we’re back in the gym and it's like a repeating day. In the offseason, I work out with Remy, we work out everyday.
SportsEdTV: Were you prepared for that?
Jett Howard: Well, going into it, they didn't really expand on that. So I was like, all right, OK, it's going to be hard work. I mean, I've been doing this all my life. Once that first week was over, you're like, OK, it's different and you have to adjust. So it was basically like growing pains the first two months, but after that I was good.
SportsEdTV: How much would you say you practice compared to play in actual games?
Jett Howard: We only play like forty minutes a game. Every day, we work out. We’re perfecting our craft, so it's a lot more than that. And it's crazy because like all that work that we do off the court, it goes into that one game or that game that we had during the season.
SportsEdTV: What’s the difference between playing at IMG and EYBL? It seems like you’re much looser of a player in EYBL, why is that?
Jett Howard: You see the difference between Nightriders and IMG is I feel like we have more guys that were like high level, so I have to get used to playing with them and feeding off of them. So it was kind of tough at first, you know, because I know my role on the team. I know what I was there for, so I had to figure that out. At IMG, I started to figure out my role and what I was here for and what to do. He’s going to play defense and knock down shots. Well, this year, I hopefully I think my role won't change big, but with Nightriders is it's always been like that. So we just went out and hooped, I don’t have to think twice. So that's what I love about it.
SportsEdTV: Where do you feel like you're at in your career right now and are you satisfied with that?
Jett Howard: I feel like I'm doing all right. I'm definitely not satisfied because I feel like there's a lot of people ahead of me in these rankings and stuff that I don't think are as good as me. I think I just have to keep going and keep working and follow the plan.
SportsEdTV: Do you listen to the rankings? What is your mentality going into the summer?
Jett Howard: I was never the person to think about rankings. Once we get to college it’s all evened out anyway. So, I mean, I don’t have to worry about that. But I just feel like these so-called experts and stuff like that have shown that this person is better than me. I see you ahead of me on the list. I automatically feel like I have to go as you are to prove something against me. So that's really what it is.
SportsEdTV: How do you silence the noise of social media and what are some things you tell yourself?
Jett Howard: I honestly, I just listened to my pops because he told me, don't worry about that type of stuff, and work on what actually matters. So I feel like I was never the type of person to even care about those rankings and social media stuff like that. I think it's cool, but I don't think it's like actually basketball because we're getting away from basketball.
SportsEdTV: Let's talk about your dad and how he's helped you develop into the player you are today.
Jett Howard: He's basically shaped and molded me into the place I am today because he's been there since forever and he was never the dad that made me choose basketball. I was kind of just me. So I love that, too. So when I was young, I used to be in the backyard working out with him because he would be on the road and stuff and he had games and stuff, but he was there. He would work out on me, yell at me, beat me up some times. So it just kind of made me tough. He also helped me with training from different guys. He linked me up with Remy and stuff like that.
SportsEdTV: Do you face any pressure from the public around your father?
Jett Howard: I want to be better than him. I don't even like when people say son of Juwan Howard. So I really want to have my own name. I feel like if we were to play one on one at the same age, I'll beat him. I feel like I just embrace it. You take on the job. I like to listen to what he says because I usually just go in one ear and out, although sometimes I try to when I'm getting older I try to really sit down and look at what he's saying because he's a nice little gems and stuff like this. I try to listen where it counts.
SportsEdTV: When did you start training at the next level or make the jump to an elite aau team?
Jett Howard: I say, when I got here, I was around 12 years old, I switched from Miami City Ballers to Nightriders. Our head coach was Remy Workout's, and he saw how much more we could learn if we joined his training program. It was a blessing. I got to work out with him whenever and we have practice and stuff like that. And that's when I started to see, like, OK, this is what I have to do and this is how serious I have to take it. But I always had that dream to be a great player in college and stuff like this. I always been taking a serious.