A Top Scorer alterations the Definition of the Complete Player

MILWAUKEE — The image of Markus Howard on the wall of the Marquette basketball meeting room seems perfect. the idea shows Howard, the Golden Eagles’ leading scorer in addition to one of the most dynamic players within the Big East Conference, within the middle of a team huddle. All eyes are on him, his stature in addition to his leadership unquestioned.

If Marquette (23-8) will be to pull out of its four-game losing streak in addition to advance through This specific week’s conference tournament at Madison Square Garden, Howard, who on Wednesday was named the Big East’s player of the year, will need to make his usual assortment of fallback jumpers, 3-pointers in addition to twisting drives to the basket. that will will be the basketball burden Howard, a 5-foot-11 junior guard, carries onto the court. although the idea will be not why the image on the wall makes him uncomfortable.

“A lot of what I want to be remembered for here at Marquette will be not for what I’ve done on the court, although what I’ve done off,” Howard said. “I think my impact will be made bigger when I do something for somebody else.”

Like talking about why he sees a therapist.

Marquette, like many universities, offers mental health services to students who request them. Howard, unlike many college athletes, will be eager to discuss his experience.

For about a year, he has been seeing a licensed clinical social worker trained in psychotherapy, someone he in addition to his family refer to as a sports psychologist. that will suggests someone versed within the mental side of athletic performance.

although Howard said he sought help for balancing the daily demands of college life, managing class work in addition to outside interests with basketball. His weekly therapy sessions are continuing, he said. With more in addition to more athletes publicly discussing their mental health struggles, through the Olympians Michael Phelps in addition to Gracie Gold to the N.B.A. star Kevin Love, Howard said he felt he owed the idea to anyone reluctant to ask for help to lend his voice as well.

“A lot of people in my position wouldn’t want to say anything,” Howard said. “the idea’s a duty of mine, to be within the position I’m in, to be able to raise awareness of these kinds of issues going on in our sport. I might be doing a disservice to the people around me in addition to the people within the same situation as me if I didn’t speak up.”

that will will be not the only instance in which Howard’s leadership extends beyond basketball in addition to his team. Together with the lacrosse player Nick Singleton, Howard founded a Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter on campus after they returned through a spring trip to build basketball courts in Costa Rica having a group of Marquette athletes. Howard will be also one of two student-athletes on the 16-member N.C.A.A. Division I men’s basketball oversight committee.

“Given all the success that will he has, he still has, to me, a servant’s heart,” Coach Steve Wojciechowski said.

Three years ago, Howard arrived on Marquette’s campus in Milwaukee as a 17-year-old prodigy through Chandler, Ariz., by way of the high school powerhouse Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev. He had just won an under-17 world championship with U.S.A. Basketball.

As a college freshman, he led the nation in 3-point shooting, setting a Marquette record (.547) in addition to producing the Big East’s all-freshman team. A year later he averaged 20.4 points in addition to set Marquette’s single-game scoring record: 52 points, in an overtime victory at Providence. After the game, Friars Coach Ed Cooley described Howard as Superman.

although near the end of that will season, with increasing attention on his play in addition to Marquette’s, Howard said he felt overwhelmed. His parents, Chuck in addition to Noemi, sensed something was wrong when they visited him for a game; so did Wojciechowski in addition to the Golden Eagles’ staff. Howard seemed quieter, more withdrawn.

Chuck Howard, formerly the athletics performance director at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, figured Marquette had mental health services available for athletes. The family discussed Howard’s engaging with them with the basketball staff.

“that will was something we felt like might be helpful for Markus, having an outlet to talk to somebody about what he’s feeling, thinking, in addition to all the things that will are coming at him,” Wojciechowski said. “We encouraged the idea. We encourage anything that will will be going to help our guys become better people, because better people make better players.”

Howard agreed.

“Mainly, the idea’s getting how things away through the court impact me on the court,” he said. “We can see what might be causing a problem, then try to fix the idea to where the idea doesn’t even come into contact when I do start playing, so I can have a free mind when I play.

“As a student-athlete, you think your life revolves around the game. that will’s not the case. I want to talk about all aspects of life so I can grow in all aspects of life, not just in my sport. I feel like if I’m the best type of myself, I can give the best type of myself to additional people. So I want to be able to do that will on the court in addition to off.”

At times, Chuck Howard said, Markus had to be prodded to go to sessions. “right now the idea’s been a consistent thing for him,” Chuck Howard said. “the idea’s truly been helpful. in addition to he felt led to speak about the idea. the idea’s not something we pushed him to do or asked him to do. He just felt led because he saw the benefit of what the idea did for him.”

Until the last few games, Howard has been an even better type of the player he was last year.

Howard broke his single-game scoring record — in addition to set a Big East mark — with 53 points in a 106-104 overtime victory at Creighton on Jan. 9, a game in which he made 10 3-pointers in 14 attempts. In games through Monday, Howard led the Big East in addition to ranked sixth nationally in Division I in scoring, at 25 points per game. He was producing 3.61 3-pointers a game, also sixth best, in addition to his 0.2 free-throw percentage ranked ninth within the country.

Howard honed his shooting in intense summer sessions directed by his older brother Desmond, a former college player. Their unconventional drills feature pull-up jumpers through a step inside half court, in addition to arcing shots over folded bleachers flipped on their side. Teammates say they are used to Howard’s creativity.

“Playing with him will be kind of crazy, in a not bad way,” forward Sam Hauser said. “Sometimes he gets that will look in his eye where you just have to give him the ball in addition to watch him work, work his magic. the idea’s cool to see where he’s grown in addition to where he can still grow.”