FORT WAYNE, IN (April 18, 2014) –Fort Wayne Mad Ants guard/forward Ron Howard is the recipient of the 2014 Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award, his second in as many years, as voted on by the NBA Development League’s 17 head coaches. The award honors the player who best represents the ideals of character and conduct on and off the court.
Howard enjoyed a standout season, his seventh, with the Mad Ants during 2013-14, appearing in 49 games, averaging a career-best 20.5 points to go with 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists. Howard led the team to a franchise record and NBA D-League-best 36-14 record, the East Division Championship and the top-overall seed in the 2014 NBA D-League playoffs.
Off the court, Howard made just as big of an impact in the Fort Wayne community, mentoring a group of boys at Northwood Elementary School while also volunteering at local food bank and with the Feed My Starving Children Program. He is also actively involved with the Mad Ants’ NBA D-League Cares Read to Achieve and Get Fit Challenge initiatives.
A three-time NBA D-League All-Star, Howard became the league’s all-time leading scorer on March 29, when he scored 20 points to pass Renaldo Major’s previous record of 4,252 career points.
“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 NBA 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 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:
2012-13: Ron Howard, Fort Wayne Mad Ants
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