Howlett Ivy Bound
At this time last year Mike Howlett was beginning his first year at the New Hampton School having already committed to Lehigh University. When the school year ended Howlett had every intention of honoring that commitment until Head Coach Billy Taylor resigned in August to take a similar position at Ball State.
With the beginning of the school year only a couple of short weeks away, Howlett resisted the temptation to make a rushed decision and instead returned to New Hampton. Now his patience has paid off as he has decided to attend the University of Pennsylvania next year.
“The history is awesome,” Howlett replied when asked why he decided on UPenn. “Playing in the Big Five, at the Palestra, with a loud crowd, against a great schedule every year…it is hard to beat that.”
Howlett’s decision was made even easier by the Penn coaching staff.
“They have literally been here [New Hampton] every week,” Howlett said of his future coaches. “Coach Martin was here for our first workout and has been back twice since then. Coach Sparks and Coach Miller have been up too.”
Not only have the Penn coaches been relentless in their pursuit of the New Hampshire native, but Howlett also believes they will utilize him the best way possible next season, especially after seeing the other members of their recruiting class.
“I am at my best when I’m allowed to score from inside and out, and I know that’s how they plan to use me,” Howlett said. “Once I saw Garvin Hunt (6’9” center) was coming I knew I wouldn’t get buried down low.”
Howlett is one of six New England players to already commit to schools in the Ivy League, joining his teammate Patrick Saunders and Brewster Academy guard Max Huc who are both pledged to Princeton, Greg Mangano and Reggie Willhite who are headed to Yale, and Andrew Van Nest who recently committed to Harvard. Not only is this a particularly high number of early commitments, but this is an extremely talented cast of players, which is a trend that Howlett said contributed to his decision.
“The Ivy League is definitely getting better,” he said. “I think with [Head Coach] Tommy Amaker going to Harvard this year it has helped the whole league to attract bigger recruits.”
And while the Ivy League collectively improves, Pennsylvania appears poised to remain on top as Howlett appears to be the final piece of another excellent recruiting class.