Class of 2012 Twymond Howard

Pearl High School sophomore basketball player Twymond Howard is considered one of the best players in his class in the state of Mississippi. While he is blessed with exceptional talent, he also has a strong work ethic. And that has helped him become the player he is today.

"About my 8th grade year was when I started learning more about the game and how to play better," said the 6-6, 200-pounder. "I used to get whupped by older players. When I say whupped I mean they could do anything on me, shoot, dribble, dunk, everything. I just got tired of it and started working on my game."

And the hard work has paid off because his high school and AAU coaches as well as college coaches are really impressed with his overall game now.

"Coaches say that my driving ability on post players is very good and when a shorter guy like a guard is on me I can post them up pretty easily," said Howard. "They also like the way I play, non-stop, go hard the entire game."

His AAU coach, MBA Hoops' Omhar Carter, feels he has becomes one of the best sophomores in the state of Mississippi.

"Twymond Howard is, right now, probably the second best sophomore in the state," said Carter. "He is 6-6, athletic, shoots the ball well, flies through the air, is very strong and he plays very tough."

Despite receiving such accolades from college coaches and his AAU coach, Howard realizes he still has a ways to go before he reaches his full potential.

"I really need to work on my handles (handling the ball)," he noted. "I'm not bad at it, but I just need to work on it more."

To help him become a better player, Howard plays just about year-round, by not only playing high school ball but AAU ball as well.

"I have been playing AAU ball for three to four years, the entire time with the MBA Hoops (program)," said Howard, who was also considered one of the top football players in his classification prior to giving up the sport to focus exclusively on basketball. "It is a great experience. You get to see a lot of things that you normally don't get to see for a kid as young as I am. And you get to play a lot of new teams and get to develop."

By playing AAU ball, he also gets to play against many of the top players throughout the United States, players he would never get the chance to play in high school.

"There were a lot of players from out of state that I played (against) that helped me get better just by letting me know that I need to keep working and getting better," said Howard.

While he should continue to improve, college coaches already like what they see and are showing that through their recruiting efforts.

"I've received interest from Mississippi State, Tennessee, Wake Forest, Memphis, Ole Miss, Auburn, Baylor ... that's really about it right now," said Howard. "Tennessee has offered me (a scholarship). Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Baylor and Auburn are also talking about it."

Although it's still early in his recruiting process, he's already attended a couple of college games.

"I have gone to a couple of Mississippi State games to watch them play," said Howard. "I go to college games to see how they play their game, are they a running team or a stop and post up team, things like that."

Simply by attending those two games he's already seen a big difference between high school and college. And he's doing something to help offset that difference when he does get to college.

"The difference in high school and college is the speed of the game and I think college is faster than AAU also," said Howard. "I am working on getting faster by playing in older age groups (in AAU ball)."

While he's not ready to name a list of his top schools, he does know the style of play he prefers.

"I like the way Tennessee plays, just run and gun," said Howard.

Keep it on to follow the progress of the exceptionally talented Twymond Howard.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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