Like Grant, she’s had a diversified high school academic, athletic and extracurricular career that resulted in numerous awards and honors.
“When I was hurt during basketball, I was so glad to have all my academic and other things to keep me busy and focused on something other than being hurt. I couldn’t play, but that let me focus on school more and do even better academically,” Howell, who also spent a year each on the track and tennis teams, said.
She will play basketball at Sewanee, but that’s not the main reason she will be going to school there.
“It was about the academic reputation. I wanted a small school atmosphere, but also a school with connections to get you into big companies and internships. Sewanee will let me continue to be involved in community service and enable me to make a lot of personal connections that I enjoy so much,” Howell said. “Basketball just happened to fit right in with what I was looking for academically. I chose Sewanee for academics and the basketball was a bonus.”
Howell, a Governor’s Scholars participant last summer, was Pep Club president and yearbook editor as a senior and was also a member of the Change of Heart Club, Y-Club DECA Club, Beta Club, FCA and Teens Against Tobacco Use. She was a Danville/Boyle County Youth Leadership participant and a four-year member of the Duke University Talent Identification Program that allowed teachers to give her more challenging workloads.
She was especially fond of her English class the last two years taught by Katie Tiller, even though she thought the advanced placement language and literature courses might be not a favorite.
“We had the same students for two years and were called the ‘Nerd Herd.’ We made T-shirts each year and incorporated stuff we read on the T-shirts. It was a really close class, and I have a ton of memories I’ll keep,” she said. “It was one of those classes I didn’t feel I would be as strong in. But it helped me grow so much with my grammar and writing. I enjoyed the class so much and realize what a difference in made in my education.”
She was just as active in the community. She was a four-year volunteer for the Kentucky United Methodist Homes for Children & Youth, March of Dimes and American Cancer Relay for Life. She worked on a service project with her father to landscape and clean Henry Jackson Park, volunteered at Camp Horsin’ Around and worked as a student volunteer at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center. She also found time to volunteer in elementary and middle school events as well as tutor both high school and middle school students in math.
“I just like to stay busy and get out and meet people,” Howell said. “I have met so many interesting people and heard so many interesting stories through my volunteer work. I also like to think I have helped people. This is a way to make you feel good about what you are doing with your time and also do something you really enjoy. I don’t like to be bored.”
She says her passion for basketball was probably greater than anything, but playing for three coaches and suffering two major knee injuries put her career on a different path than she once envisioned.
"I guess you could look back and wonder what might have happened if I had not been hurt or if I had played for just one coach, but everything happens for a reason and I am on the right path because of it,” Howell said. “I would have loved to have had just one coach and bonded with that coach, but having three helped me learn to adapt to change and also see the athlete-coach relationship from the perspective of different coaches. It helped me learn to adapt and in the long run that makes me a better person, so everything worked out fine.”