By Cordell Long
It has long been the dream of many athletes to play Division I sports, although they may not fully anticipate the lifestyle it embodies. This has been the case for newly transferred KU sophomore, Howard Sellars, a moderately touted basketball recruit who began his college journey with a full scholarship to Division I St.Peter’s University in Jersey City, N.J.
“I always dreamed of playing Division I basketball, and I was there with the opportunity. You couldn’t convince me otherwise,” Sellars said.
However, the 2013-2014 season didn’t go as well as he would have hoped. With coaching changes and an adjustment to the point guard position, the struggles increased. The Peacocks finished the season 14-17, reaching the Mid Atlantic Athletic Conference quarterfinals before bowing out.
Sellars did not feel like he was well utilized during the season, and though New York and the city kid’s personality matched, he needed a new opportunity. Throughout spring 2014, he sought out a university and program that could help him develop into a man, as well as a great student athlete.
One call from his childhood recreation coach and KU assistant coach Richard Hicks and Sellars was on his way to a program he says is “known for winning.”
“Coach Hicks is such an encouraging and consistent presence in my life,” said Sellars. “He said that he would make sure if I worked hard enough, it wouldn’t matter what level I played, but how well I did within the system.”
KU’s head basketball coach Bernie Driscoll has been pleased with Sellars’ confidence earlier in the season. He said, “Howard is finding his niche in our offense, and it’s paying off.”
Over the first six games of the season, he is averaging 10.8 points and 51 percent from the field. In the most recent win against Wilmington, he dropped in 17 points for the second consecutive game.
It was not only the athletics that attracted Sellars, as KU presented itself as a university that puts in much effort to help students succeed.
“There is an area of support and care at KU that I have not seen at many of the schools I’ve visited, including my previous school, St. Peter’s,” he said. “I have less focused attention on me, which gives me a better opportunity to grow on and off the court.”
Sellars believes that he has left those Division I dreams in the past, focusing on his goals of reaching the NCAA Division II Elite Eight. “I know this team can be successful. I know that I can make it professionally from where I’m at. Stephen Dennis did it, and I plan on following the path he laid here,” he said, referring to the
former Golden Bear who has played NBA basketball.
As the season pushed on, Sellars has been hard at work with the team, practicing and preparing for a long, challenge-filled season. He has no plans of downgrading his expectations. “I couldn’t be more excited. This season I’ll be on the floor, and I’ll be giving it my all. I want to help bring the PSAC championship to KU.”