This week will determine whether Howard University women’s basketball will be heading to the Big Dance, the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament. The Bison have played well all season, amassing a 17–9 record overall and 11–3 in MEAC action, but the ticket will be punched at this week’s conference tournament. The Bison entered the MEAC Tournament in essentially a three-way tie for first place in the conference, and the intention is to emerge victorious.
One of the key players for Howard is sophomore guard Destiny Howell, who grew up in Queens and Long Island, and is a graduate of St. Francis Prep. She was recently named All-MEAC Second Team in recognition of her outstanding season in which she led the Bison in scoring, averaging 12.6 points per game.
“We’re going to keep trying to build from what we’re already doing,” said Howell. “As a collective, we’re going to prepare as much as we can to go out there and give it our all.”
Howell said the team’s communication has improved as the season progressed as well as each player’s individual game. “We’re learning each other’s hot spots, knowing how to play off each other. I feel like we’re playing at a pace now where we’re playing Howard basketball,” she said.
Although Howell grew up playing hoops against the boys in the park at a rec center, she didn’t take it seriously until she was 13, which is when she started playing organized basketball. From then on, her life revolved around basketball.
She worked on her game—modeling it after Kevin Durant—and trying to play with other top players in AAU. As for WNBA players, she watched Skylar Diggins-Smith closely and admires her toughness.
“I feel like I’ve brought New York City basketball to Howard with the type of swag and confidence I play with. All the real hoopers in New York have this type of oomph to their game, and I feel I brought that with me when I made a decision to come to Howard,” Howell said.
A sports management major and psychology minor, Howell wants to play professionally after graduating from Howard. Following a pro career, she hopes to become a coach. That’s the future, but for now it’s all about prevailing in the MEAC. “My whole focus is on that MEAC Tournament,” she said.