Up Close With Dwight Howard

Before he left for the NBA Top 100 Camp, we had a chance to chat up Dwight Howard, our choice for No. 1 player in the Class of 2004. Howard gives us his thoughts on the NBA, his recruitment and more.

There's no secret, Dwight Howard is going to be a guy with options come this time next year. Howard clearly has the talent to play for pay in the near future and he's improving each time out.

Because of his combination of athletic prowess and academic success, he's receiving attention from the highest levels of basketball.

"I haven't narrowed [my school list] down," Howard said. "I've just been thinking about having a great summer." We asked him to provide us with a quick list and he came up with Georgia Tech, Duke, Florida, North Carolina and Florida State. But, like he said, the summer is on his mind.

"I have a list of goals. I guess to be the No. 1 player in the nation, bar none. I guess to be head and shoulders above everybody else and pass LeBron James for the best high school player ever." Yikes, that last one kind of threw us, but credit him for setting the bar high.

And no one is harder on Howard than the player himself. "Right now, I'd say I'm playing not where I need to be. Everyone else thinks I'm playing great but for myself, I could be better."


Because he's such a good prospect, it's hard for colleges to recruit him. With the specter of the NBA hanging over him, few colleges are in the position to spend a lot of time and effort recruiting him only to have him bolt for the league ala Kwame Brown.

In that sense, it's hard committing to recruiting Howard. "You could say that. I just talk to them when I get a chance and they just say that they would love to have me on a visit. We really don't talk about the NBA much [with the schools]. All the colleges that are recruiting me want me to get a good education and then make it to the NBA."

Howard's a bright kid with a good head on his shoulders. He'll make an informed decision. Right now, he's kicking tail, taking numbers and continuing to say the right things. He's demonstrating that he's polished in so many ways.

"I could [go to college] if that's what God wanted me to do, I'd do it. But, I'm sure maybe after one or two years if college is necessary then I'll go to the league."

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