FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Fort Wayne Mad Ants will be retiring Ron Howards’ jersey at halftime during their game on Friday March 3rd at 7:00 p.m. vs. the Westchester Knicks.
“I feel unbelievably blessed and grateful,” Howard said. “I never imagined that I would be celebrated this way.”
Howard has been the face of the Mad Ants franchise since its inception in 2007. He began his career with the Mad Ants as an open tryout participant in their inaugural season. He quickly earned the nickname “Mr. Mad Ant” as he won over the hearts of the Fort Wayne community. Howard has played in seven of the Mad Ants 10 seasons, leading them to become the 2014 NBA D-League Champions.
Howard is the Ants all-time leading scorer with a 4,324 career points. He is a three-time NBA D-League All-Star (2010, 2013, 2014), two-time NBA D-League Jason Colliers Sportsmanship award recipient (2013, 2014), All D-League First Team member (2014), and was named Co-MVP of the 2013 – 2014 NBA D-League season.
His basketball career took off during high school at Whitney Young in Chicago, Illinois. As a senior, he averaged 17 points and five rebounds per game while earning All-Conference, All-City, All-Area and Special Mention All-State honors. Howard went on to attend Marquette University. As a freshman at Marquette, Howard played alongside future NBA players Dwyane Wade and Travis Diener.
In 2002, he transferred to Valparaiso and subsequently sat out the 2002–03 season due to NCAA transfer rules. As a junior, he earned second team All-Conference honors, as well as winning the Dick Koenig Assist Award and the Homer W. Drew Sr. Memorial Most Improved Player Award. As a senior, he again earned second team All-Conference honors.
Howard went undrafted in the 2006 NBA draft. In early 2007, he joined Trigueros de Ciudad Obregón of Mexico for the 2007 CIBACOPA season. As well as being an All-Star, he helped Trigueros win the 2007 championship. Following, Howard was selected by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the 7th round of the 2007 NBA D-League draft.
After his career with the Mad Ants, Howard returned overseas. He signed with Piratas de Quebradillas of Puerto Rico for the 2015 BSN season. That July, Howard was selected by the Seoul Samsung Thunders with the final pick in the 2015 Korean Basketball League draft. In December 2015, he parted ways with Seoul after appearing in 27 games.
This past November, Howard signed with French team Élan Béarnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez as an injury replacement for Yannick Bokolo. He appeared in five games for the team before Bokolo returned to the line-up in early December.
Howard has also participated in NBA training camps with the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, and the Indiana Pacers.
Giving back to the Fort Wayne community has been an important role in Howards life post basketball. His family has resided in Fort Wayne since he began playing for the Mad Ants in ’07.
Parents of three, Howard and his wife Reesha founded Game Day Sports Camp in 2012, which is an annual summer camp in order to help foster and nurture the children’s best qualities while insuring they have the best time in doing so. Howard also participates in the Mad Ants Academy, teaching youth the fundamentals of the game of basketball.
“My wife and I are devoted to giving back because we truly love the people and the city of Fort Wayne.” Howard said.