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DMV Star of the Week - Howard Men's Basketball

Every week, across several sports, players around the DMV shine in individual performance. Every Monday, I’d like to take a minute to highlight some of those performances, including what I view as the best performance and name that athlete the “DMV Star of the Week.”


This week’s DMV Star of the Week is the entire Howard Men’s Basketball Team.

For the first time since 1992, Howard advanced to the NCAA Tournament by earning the MEAC’s automatic bid, winning the MEAC Tournament in Norfolk, VA.

It’s just the third NCAA Tournament appearance in school history and the second time in school history that HU won both the regular season and conference tournament.

The Bison have won five games in a row entering their first Big Dance in 31 years, including three wins in the MEAC Tournament over South Carolina State, Maryland Eastern Shore and Norfolk State in the championship game.

Norfolk State had won back-to-back MEAC Tournament titles and was on its way to a third straight, leading Howard by four with less than 20 seconds to go.

Marcus Dockery knocked down a massive three-point shot with 13 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to one (Dockery was 1/6 from three in the game) before a Norfolk State turnover led to a foul and go-ahead free throws by Jelani Williams, who led Howard with 20 points off the bench in HU’s biggest game in decades.

Norfolk State had a shot for the win but missed it, giving Howard a 65-64 victory in dramatic fashion.

This Howard team won both the regular season MEAC title and the conference tournament title for the first time in over 30 years. They have an All-MEAC First Team player in Elijah Hawkins, the conference rookie of the year in Shy Odom and play a style of basketball that features one of the nation’s heaviest rotations, with at least ten players participating in every game.

Head Coach Kenny Blakeney is in just his fourth season at Howard and was able to end two streaks of over 30 years by winning the regular season and conference tournament, winning 22 games along the way. Those 22 wins are the most since the 1986-87 season and marks only the third season in program history with 20+ wins.

In his first year at Howard, the Bison went 4-29. In his second, they canceled the season due to COVID. And yet, in year four, Blakeney has led HU to more wins than the prior three seasons combined.

In the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, 16-seed Howard will take on 1-seed Kansas, who won the Big 12 regular season title and lost in the conference tournament championship game against Texas.

The last time Howard played an NCAA Tournament game was in 1992 in a very

similar scenario. They were also a 16-seed and also played KU.


The DMV saw nine teams in action this past week, including the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, D.C. United, and the Georgetown, George Washington, Maryland, and Howard basketball teams along with the D.C. Defenders XFL team and Washington Nationals at Spring Training

Here are some honorable mention performances for DMV Star of the Week:

  • D.C. United’s Chris Durkin scored the equalizing goal in the 80th minute of a 1-1 draw against Orlando City to secure a point for D.C.

  • Capitals Defenseman Rasmus Sandin had a great week for Washington, recording 3 assists in Saturday’s 5-1 win over the Islanders and 1 goal and 1 assist in Monday’s loss vs. Los Angeles

  • Wizards Forward Kristaps Porzingis scored a career-high 43 points in Wednesday’s 122-120 loss against Atlanta

  • D.C. Defenders quarterback Deriq King touched the ball just six times in Sunday’s win over Las Vegas and scored three touchdowns, one passing and two rushing


Here’s what’s coming up this week in DMV Sports:

  • Washington Capitals: (32-28-7, 6th in Metropolitan Division)

    • 3/14 @ New York Rangers

    • 3/15 vs. Buffalo

    • 3/17 vs. St. Louis

    • 3/19 @ Minnesota

  • Washington Wizards: (31-37, T-11th in Eastern Conference)

    • 3/14 vs. Detroit

    • 3/17 @ Cleveland

    • 3/18 vs. Sacramento

  • D.C. United: (1-1-1, 8th in Eastern Conference)

    • 3/18 @ New York City

  • Maryland Basketball: (21-12 overall, 11-9, 6th in Big 10)

    • 3/16 vs. West Virginia in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament

    • If Win: 3/18 vs. winner of Alabama vs. Texas A&M CC/SEMO

  • Howard Basketball: (22-12 overall, 11-3, 1st in MEAC)

    • 3/16 vs. Kansas in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament

    • If Win: 3/18 vs. winner of Illinois vs. St. Mary’s

  • D.C. Defenders: (4-0 overall, 1st in XFL North)

    • 3/18 @ St. Louis

  • Washington Nationals: Spring Training

    • 3/13 vs. Houston

    • 3/14 @ New York Mets

    • 3/15 @ Miami

    • 3/16 vs. New York Mets

    • 3/17 @ Houston

    • 3/18 vs. Miami

    • 3/19 vs. Detroit

*Denotes games I will be covering in-person

  • Notes:

    • Georgetown basketball parted ways with Head Coach Patrick Ewing on Thursday after six seasons in charge of the program

    • American University basketball parted ways with Head Coach Mike Brennan on Thursday after ten seasons in charge of the program

    • GW Basketball’s season came to an end in a Second Round loss to Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday in Brooklyn, NY

    • Georgetown’s season came to an end in a First Round loss to Villanova on Wednesday in New York City


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