Marquette Wire

Markus Howard embraces ‘unbelievable opportunity’ to attend Chris Paul Elite Guard Camp

Photo by Helen Dudley

Photo by Helen Dudley

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The list of alumni from the Chris Paul Elite Guard Camp is saturated with NBA talent: the Warriors’ Stephen Curry, the Pacers’ Victor Oladipo, the Mavericks’ Harrison Barnes and the Celtics’ Marcus Smart.

Now with NBA aspirations looming, Marquette’s Markus Howard will join that list, attending the Chris Paul Elite Guard Camp Aug. 1-4.

“It’s an unbelievable opportunity,” Howard said. “I’m blessed to have the opportunity to do that … I’m looking forward to it.”

He is one of 20 collegiate guards to receive an invitation to the camp.

“It’s a great honor,” head coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “For him to be recognized — as he should be — as one of the top 20 guards in college basketball is a great honor.”

Howard, who will leave for North Carolina Wednesday morning, compared his mindset going into the camp to a sponge.

“Soak up as much information as I can,” Howard said. “Learn from one of the best, if not the best, point guard in the league in Chris Paul.”

The invitation to Paul’s camp seemed to come out of nowhere for the 19-year-old guard, but he didn’t need much time to decide.

“It really came out of the blue,” Howard said. “I just got a text from Coach Wojo asking if I wanted to attend, and hearing the name Chris Paul in a camp, you automatically want to say yes.”

Wojciechowski said his text was simple: “Markus, you got invited to the CP3 camp.”

Wojciechowski had the “great fortune” of witnessing Paul’s passion for basketball and leadership firsthand. Paul played on Team USA while Wojciechowski was a court coach and scout. Together they won Olympic gold medals in 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London.

“He is a basketball junkie through and through,” Wojciechowski said. “He loves to help people get better at the game. He’s a great communicator.”

According to the camp’s website, the camp will include “basic fitness training, basketball drill work, yoga, and real game situations.”

“This camp allows me to share my insights with these young athletes,” Paul said on his website. “Giving back to the next generation is the cornerstone of my family’s foundation, and we couldn’t be more proud to make it happen in the city we call home.”

This won’t be the first time Howard has learned from the nine-year NBA All-Star and two-time gold medalist. Howard attended another Chris Paul camp before high school.

“I actually did his camp when I was in middle school,” Howard said. “I want to say it was the last camp I’ve done.”

When Howard returns from North Carolina, he’ll be greeted with additional leadership responsibilities. The team’s only seniors are Matt Heldt and graduate transfer Joseph Chartouny.

“We need him to be a leader,” Wojciechowski said. “He’s an upperclassman now. He’s been thrown into the fire as a very young player. We expect this year to be the best year he’s had.”

Without fellow sharpshooting guard Andrew Rowsey, Wojciechowski expects Howard to assume many traditional point guard responsibilities.

“It puts more responsibility on Markus’ plate in terms of not only scoring, which he obviously does on an elite level, but being a distributor and a primary decision maker as well,” Wojciechowski said.

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