- Orlando Magic 2004 - present
Dwight David Howard is a basketball player from the United States of America who plays as a center. Howard attended the Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy for high school education and in his four years there, he played mostly as a power forward. In high school, Howard’s career saw 16.6 points per game along with 13.4 rebounds and 6.3 blocks per game. In his senior year in 2004, he took his team to the state championship title scoring 25 points per game with 18 rebounds per game and 8 blocks per game along the way.
Howard became widely known as the best high school basketball player in the United States of America. He was presented with the Naismith Prep Player of the Year award, the Morgan Wootten High School Player of the Year award and was also named as the MVP of the McDonald’s High School All-American Game.
In lieu of this performance, Howard decided to register himself for the NBA Draft in a move that was said to be inspired by his idol, Kevin Garnett. Like KG, Howard fulfilled a dream that he had since he was 9-years old, of being selected as first pick in the NBA Draft. The Orlando Magic picked Howard first overall in the 2004 Draft and Howard was part of a roster that had just won 21 games the season before and had lost Tracy McGrady, their only star. Howard came with purpose and showed his true worth in his rookie year. 12.0 points per game along with 10.0 rebounds per game were the stepping stones for the numerous records that he set in his first year.
Howard became the youngest player ever to average a double-double in regular season while also becoming the youngest to average at least 10.0 rebounds per game. He also became the youngest ever to achieve 20 rebounds or more in a single game. and was also the only player ever to come out of high school, join the NBA, and play all 82 games of their rookie season, in starting position.
Howard was picked for the 2005 Rookie Challenge and was selected to the All-Rookie Team. He finished third behind Okafor and Ben Gordon, in the run up to the Rookie of the Year award. Howard entered the second season with renewed roles and put on more muscle to play as a center with the Magic. In a game against the Charlotte Bobcats, Howard in his new role became the youngest player to score more than 20 points and grab 20 or more rebounds in a single game. He average 15.8 points per game while in rebounds, he was at 12.5 per game.
Howard was also ranked second in the NBA in terms of rebounds per game, offensive rebounds and double doubles.
In 2006—07, Howard was selected to the All-Star team as a reserve on the Eastern conference team. He finished the game with 20 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. He, later, helped the Magic qualify for the Playoffs for the first time since 2003 but failed to get past the Pistons in the first round despite Howard averaging at 17.6 ppg and 12.3 rpg. Howard was named to the All-NBA third team at the end of the season.
In 2007-08, Howard made a deeper impact, this time getting selected to the starting lineup of the Eastern Conference All-Star team. He ended the season with a league-high 69 double doubles and had 8 occasions of scoring 20 points and 20 rebounds in a single game. He also won the NBA Slam Dunk contest and also led the Magic to their first divisional title in 12 years. He only managed to get the team to the second round in the playoffs and despite stellar performances, the pistons prevailed.
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