Derek Howard
2010 C.J. Phillips Frozen Hoops All Star Weekend
C.J. Phillips Frozen Hoops All Star Weekend 2009
C.J. Phillips Frozen Hoops All Star Weekend 2008
Search for Top 150 Players All Time...Ends wirh 177!
Your Picks For Top 150
Semi-Pro Hoops in Canada
Frozen Hoops Store
NBA Canuck Stars
Exclusive Interviews
Toronto Raptors
Steve Nash NBA MVP 2004-2006
National Team
NCAA, CIS and Abroad
2009 Summer Basketball Camp
WNBA Canadians
Teams of the Past
Dr. Naismith
Coach Donohue
A Basketball Jungle
Guest comments
Basketball Links
Silver Screen Slams
My Hometown Hoops
About Us
Primetime Photos

Florida Hoops Hero



Whether, or weather, he will admit it or not, Derek Howard is just quackers about basketball.

Frozen hoops, Canadian style, was a major part of his life having played high school ball from 1984-89 at Hamilton?s Hill Park High School and then at McMaster University Marauders from 1989-93.

Wearing McMaster?s maroon and grey colours he was a two-time Ontario University Athletics All-Star under coaches Barry Phillips and Joe Raso.

But since 1994 the hoops have been hot while hooping it up down south Florida way.

During his time he has coached at various Florida high schools including Countryside, Vero Beach and Melbourne Central Catholic. He also had a stint as an assistant coach with the Belmont Abbey College Crusaders in 1995. The Crusaders are situated in the NCAA Division II Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference.

It was in 1996 that Howard had his first taste of minor league professional basketball in the role of scout for the United States Basketball League?s (USBL) Florida Sharks, who were coached by Eric Musselman (now an assistant coach with the NBA?s Memphis Grizzlies).

According to the USBL, 130 of its former players have moved on to the NBA. Alumni include former Magic guard Darrell Armstrong, Muggsy Bogues, Chris Childs and Anthony Mason.

The life of minor league ball seems to have appeased Howard?s appetite with his continued involvement with the sport while also finding time to teach in high school.

In 2002 he signed on with the USBL Brevard Blue Ducks as an assistant coach under Harvey Grant.

With the USBL running from April ? June, the opportunity to coach in more than one minor league often presents itself to the true basketball junkie. Such was the case for Howard filling the role of head coach of the Wilmington Wave Rockers of the XBA-Carolina Pro League and leading them all the way to the championship game.

This did not go unoticed due to the fact that on January 28, 2003 the announcement was made that Howard would be the new coach of the Blue Ducks.

"Derek did an outstanding job for us last year (2002)," commented owner Michael Richman in a press release. "He helped put together our tryout camp, picked our players for last year?s college draft and drew up the majority of our offensive plays. No one else really knows our players and organization as well as Derek."

In 2003 he also did double duty with the NABL KC Steers as Head Coach/General Manager.

He presently teaches at Southeast High School (KC-Missouri) but will return to the Ducks in 2005 in the role of director of player personal.

"I am basically in charge of the identification, recruitment, and selection of veteran and rookie players-as well as assisting in the transition of our players to their next job(s)," said Howard, who says he stays in touch with the Canadian basketball scene. "I began (with the Blue Ducks) as an assistant coach, under head coach Harvey Grant, and the following year became the head coach. After I moved to Kansas City, I stepped down as head coach and began on the player personnel side. This will be my second year as the director of player personnel."

With his knowledge of the life of minor league sports, Frozen Hoops asked Howard the simple question "Why is there no minor league pro basketball in Canada?

"Canada has had professional ball, with the CBA Toronto Tornadoes and a number of other leagues ( World Basketball League 1988 to 1992 and National Basketball League 1993 to 1994) and the fledgling Ontario league that Scott Robinson tried to get off the ground this past spring/summer. I think that Canadians are certainly not as passionate about basketball as they are about other sports, and like most minor leagues the financial supports do not typically last very long. The troubled history of
minor league basketball is not only a Canadian problem-check out the history of even the most established minor leagues. Most recently, the ABA is really facing some challenges."

Howard noted that there have been no Canadian players of the Blue Ducks roster to date.

"I am involved with any players that I feel give my basketball teams the opportunity to win games. I
certainly have a loyalty factor when dealing with Canadian players. For various reasons, I've not had
any Canadians play for Brevard. Our (Canadian) very best players usually go to Europe, and sometimes the
length of their winter season effects their ability to get involved with us."




Enter supporting content here