GREAT FALLS — Brendan Howard is choosing his own path.
The Great Falls High senior and reigning Montana Gatorade Player of the year made that obvious when he committed to Eastern Washington on Wednesday morning, an interesting decision to many that followed his recruitment.
“I may have surprised some people,” Howard said. “But I wasn’t trying to surprise. I just thought it was best for me.”
Brendan comes from a family of Montana State greats. His mother Kathleen was inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame and his older brother Bobby earned all-conference basketball honors for the Bobcats.
Though he heavily considered an offer from MSU, his reasons for choosing EWU are purely basketball related.
“The coaching staff as a whole, I just got along with them and what they want to do and I how I fit into their scheme,” Howard said. “That’s what kind of decided it for me.”
Kathleen, Bobby and his father and head coach Bob Howard have thrown their full support behind the youngest family member.
“My parents just want what’s best for me and stuff like that,” said Brendan. “And I just felt Eastern was the best fit for me and they were backing me 100 percent.”
He made the commitment official Wednesday afternoon in a phone call to Eagles head coach Jim Hayford.
“Pretty good conversation,” Brendan recalled. “Everyone was happy there. Coach said I made his day.”
Now Howard can focus on his upcoming senior season with the Bison. No more worrying about which coach is coming to watch his games, which coach is trying to call him, or stressing over a college decision. Now his only focus is a ball, a court and his lofty goals for his team.
“It’s a dream come true,” Howard said. “Everything will be simple and I just have to go out and play hard every game and win a state championship with my team.”