Jace Howard To Sport Juwan's No. 25: 'I Will Wear It With Pride Every Day'
In Michigan basketball head coach Juwan Howard's first full cycle on the recruiting trail, he was able to put together the No. 18 class in the country and the Big Ten's second-best haul. Included in that class was one recruit that means a little more to Howard — his son, three-star forward Jace Howard.
"Without question, this a special day for my family and I that I will be able to coach my son," the coach said on signing day. "Words cannot express how proud I am of him for all the work he has put in over the years to get to where he is now. He will bring a passion like no other to this program. He wants to get better, and with his skills we know he will be a valuable asset."
Jace Howard has now been on campus since mid-June, going through voluntary workouts with his new Wolverines' teammates.
Originally intending on wearing No. 10 in Ann Arbor, Howard called an audible Sunday night when he and the team announced he will wear No. 25, a pair of digits that hold a special meaning to him and his family. Of course, that is the number Juwan Howard wore when he was a standout for Michigan in the early 1990s.
Wearing the No. 25, the elder Howard was a two-time All-American (1993, '94), and started 97 of his 100 collegiate games over three seasons. A three-time All-Big Ten honoree, including a unanimous first-team selection in 1994, Howard was regarded as one of the best defensive big men in the country. In three NCAA Tournament appearances, he was named to two All-Tournament teams at the 1993 NCAA West Regional and the 1994 NCAA Midwest Regional, and helped lead his club to two national championship game appearances in 1992 and 1993 as a part of the famed 'Fab Five.'
Now, it's Jace's turn to carry on the legacy of the number.
"Wearing #25 has been something I have wanted for a long time," he said in a statement released by the program. "Getting my dad's blessing made it truly an amazing moment for both of us and our family.
"He made #25 an iconic number at Michigan and I will wear it with pride every day."
A Family Legacy— Michigan Men's Basketball (@umichbball) August 16, 2020
“Wearing #25 has been something I have wanted for a long time. Getting my dad’s blessing made it truly an amazing moment for both of us & our family. He made #25 an iconic number at Michigan & I will wear it with pride every day”
— Jace Howard#GoBlue 〽️🏀 pic.twitter.com/yutulfzkeW
Jace revealed on Twitter that fellow freshman, center Hunter Dickinson, inspired him to seek out his father's blessing and make the number change.
A scholarship Wolverine has not worn No. 25 since the 2006-07 season, with center Zach Gibson donning the digits that year.
Other freshmen jersey numbers were released earlier this summer, with Dickinson wearing No. 1, guard Zeb Jackson sporting No. 3 and forward Terrance Williams donning No. 5.
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