When Issaquah forward Danny Howe was in the third grade, his AAU coach told him to never shoot or dribble outside the paint. Now the 6-foot-9 junior is making big shots from everywhere on the court for the Issaquah boys basketball team.
Howe said being told not to shoot from distance served as motivation to get better and to perfect his shot.
“I kind of took that personally,” Howe said. “It was a very big insult. After that, I just continued to work on my shot. I wanted to be a good shooter and to prove everyone wrong.”
Most players as tall as Howe aren’t able to shoot the ball like he can, which makes him a tougher player to defend.
“As a big guy who can kind of play like a guard and hit threes but also go down low, it helps everywhere,” Howe said. “I can rebound, I can pass and I can shoot. It really takes my game past a lot of players who are one-dimensional.”
His accurate shooting has been on display for the Eagles this season, including a career-high 34 points against the Newport Knights on Jan. 3.
“I think that game improved my self confidence a lot,” Howe said. “Just knowing that I could have a breakout game.”
The win over the Knights gave the team confidence as well after a slow start to the season. The Eagles swept the season series against the Knights on Jan. 24 with a 77-59 win.
Issaquah has been in plenty of close games this season, something that Howe said builds character. At press time, the Eagles are 5-12 overall and 3-7 in league play.
“I think all of our games have been close games,” Howe said about the season so far. “I think we need to come together and play how coach (Bradley Valentine) wants us to play. If we do that, we’ll be very good and go very far. We just need to do all of the little things right and play good defense.”
Going into the season, Howe knew he would be getting more opportunities after forward Asa Taylor graduated in 2019.
Howe said working on his confidence has been the biggest change from last season. When he plays with confidence, Howe is one of the best players in the league.
“It helps a lot to know that everyone has my back and everyone thinks that I can do it,” Howe said. “I know that everyone believes in me, but I didn’t really believe in myself until this year.”
Growing up and dreaming of being on the Issaquah basketball team, Howe idolized Issaquah standouts Tanner Davis (class of 2017), Scott Kellum (class of 2016) and Ty Gibson (class of 2015). Howe said those players served as role models for him growing up and now he hopes to be that inspiration to younger kids.
“As a kid, I’ve always looked up to people on the Issaquah varsity team and I always wanted to be like them,” Howe said. “Now that I have come into that role, it feels awesome just to be part of what I grew up watching.”
Howe said that any young players looking to someday be in his shoes should believe in themselves.
“Trust in yourself and believe in yourself,” Howe said. “One day, it will be as cool as you think it will be. Keep working and I know it will happen for you.”
The Reporter asked Howe a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:
What kind of music do you listen to?
I like country music in the summer. In general, I like to listen to what my dad listens to, a lot of ‘80s music.
What is your favorite movie?
I like the “High School Musical” series. I love them. You wouldn’t think a high school boy would like it, but I do.
Who was your favorite basketball player growing up?
I used to love Blake Griffin. I wanted to be like him. I wanted to be a big guy who can do a lot.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
I don’t like it when people come into my room and they don’t close the door.
What is your favorite food?
I like Thai food. Pad Thai, rice and soup.
If you didn’t play basketball, what sport would you like to play?
I liked baseball as a kid. I had to choose one sport and I chose basketball. As a kid, I was a really good pitcher, but hitting was kind of boring.
What is your dream vacation?
I want to spend like a month in Australia and visit every city.