I profiled Maryland point guard Pe'Shon Howard in a story for Sunday's paper. That's an interview you look forward to. Howard is smart, reflective and fun. What else would you expect from a player nicknamed "Hollywood P' who once dribbled the ball between an opponent's legs in a summer game before continuing a fast break? You can check out the accompanying video of a portion of the interview.
I knew Howard grew up in Los Angeles. But I didn't know that the man who raised him was a hair stylist who has worked on a long string of films and met numerous A-list stars. My story was about Pe'Shon, but I interviewed Bill Howard as well to get perspective. Pe'Shon said Bill is his grandfather and that he calls him "Dad."
I asked Bill about some of the stars he had worked with. He mentioned Arsenio Hall, Eddie Murphy, Samuel Jackson and Tom Cruise.
"I did Coming to America, Harlem Nights, Beverly Hills Cop 2 and 3. I did all those with Eddie. I did the Arsenio Hall show for about two or three seasons. I worked at Paramount Studios for a lot of years," he said.
Pe'Shon met lots of stars growing up. He said he met Kobe Bryant years ago. "I think I was nine and I was at the Soul Train awards show. He (Bryant) said, 'Are you dunking? I said no, no, no, no.' " But Pe'Shon told Kobe that he could touch the net.
Part of my story is about how Howard is finding a balance between being disciplined and being creative with the ball.
"The first few weeks (under new coach Mark Turgeon) I struggled because I was always trying to make the homerun play. I just have to try to keep my emotions in check and take my time with it," Howard said.
Howard talks frequently to center Alex Len. Here is Howard's version of one exchange that I enjoyed.
"We were talking to Alex and we said, 'Alex you're good. You're going to be a pro.'
"He said, 'Are you crazy? I can't be a pro. Picture KG (Kevin Garnett) guarding me.' "
According to Howard, Len had another reason for not imagining going pro anytime soon.
"He said, 'I love college. I'm not going anywhere. I'm just going to eat Boston Market every day.' "