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Ants’ Howard named D-League’s co-MVP

Howard

Mad Ants guard Ron Howard was chosen as the D-League co-MVP hours before playing in the Finals opener in Santa Cruz, Calif. He shared the award with Iowa’s Othyus Jeffers, after a vote among league coaches.

“There is no one more deserving of this award,” Mad Ants President Jeff Potter said. “Ron has been the MVP in every way possible for the Mad Ants and the NBA D-League this year. I’m so happy for him and his family to have achieved this level of success.”

Howard, 31, became the league’s all-time leading scorer this season by breaking Renaldo Major’s previous record of 4,252 points on March 29. He has played all seven seasons of his career with the Mad Ants.

The Mad Ants went a league-best 34-16 during the regular season and swept Reno and Sioux Falls in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

Howard averaged 20.5 points, ninth most in the league and tops on the Mad Ants in the regular season. He also averaged 4.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds, while playing in 49 of 50 games.

He won a second straight Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award for representing the ideals of character and conduct, on and off the court. He mentors boys at Northwood Middle School, volunteers at a food bank and with the Feed My Starving Children Program and he’s involved with multiple D-League off-court initiatives.

Howard has never played an NBA game, despite multiple opportunities in training camps. He was invited to the Pacers’ preseason camp last fall.

Howard averaged 17.3 points, 4.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds in the playoffs, entering Thursday.

Jeffers, 28, averaged 20.9 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists for Iowa.

“I’m thrilled that our coaches honored both Othyus and Ron as co-MVPs in our league this season,” said Chris Alpert, vice president of basketball operations for the D-League. “Both Ron and Othyus had impressive seasons, leading their teams to division championships while putting up the best numbers of their respective careers.

“I’m proud to honor them both, and congratulate each of them on the tremendous and well-deserved award.”

jcohn@jg.net

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