November 8, 2007

ZAGS on NYC: Elon Howard

Elon Howard has only been playing organized basketball for a few years, but he is already one of the most impressive prep players in New York City.


Howard is a 6-foot-7 power forward from Canarsie High in Brooklyn, NY who holds several scholarship offers.

Howard has offers from Long Island University, New Jersey Tech and the College of Charleston, and could improve his stock enough to gain other offers this season.

"He's very athletic and skilled," said Andre Ambrose, Howard's AAU coach with United Brooklyn. "Unfortunately, he has to play inside (at Canarsie) because the average PSAL team doesn't have too many big guys.

"But he actually can step out and do a lot of things on the perimeter. He can put the ball on the floor and take it to the hoop."

Howard suffered a sprained ankle that limited his time on the summer AAU circuit, but he still traveled to events with the Juice All-Stars.

Canarsie opens the 2007-08 season Dec. 4 against South Shore and the Chiefs return four starters from the team that lost in the Final Four of the PSAL championship tournament to Lance Stephenson and Lincoln a year ago.

Guard Nathaniel Lester has moved from Canarsie to Hofstra University, where he will be joined next year by 6-2, 165-pound SG Yves Jules, who recently committed to Coach Tom Pecora's program. The other returning starters at Canarsie are 6-1 SG Vincent Mattos and 6-3 SG Brian Cummings (LIU, Hofstra, Princeton and Holy Cross).

"We're still searching to find our chemistry," Canarsie coach Tommie Allen said. "We haven't found our chemistry yet."

Said Howard: "Our goal is to make a repeat and try to go farther than that and make it past the Final Four."

Allen said he expects to see Howard average a double-double this year and have a big season.

"He's definitely greatly improved," Howard said. "He's got a lot of ability. He rebounds the ball; he blocks shots. He's very athletic."

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