Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Marquette's Markus Howard sets Big East career scoring record while playing for purpose

Marquette’s Markus Howard became the Big East’s all-time leading scorer Wednesday night, following his 24-point performance in a loss to the 15th-ranked Villanova Wildcats. Howard’s 1,408 career points put him ahead of Syracuse’s Lawrence Moten’s previous record (1,405 points).

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“Markus has had a historical career,” Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski told ESPN. “But I can tell you he’s not in the locker room right now thinking at all about those records. When his career is over — hopefully that’s a long way down the road — he’ll be able to take in the history that he’s created at Marquette and in the Big East Conference.”

Howard is the NCAA’s leading scorer this season, averaging 27.4 points a game, and has racked up a number of scoring records this season. He is just the third major conference player in NCAA history to record 50-plus point games in three consecutive seasons, the first player in Big East Conference history with 40 points in consecutive games, and the fourth in major conference history.

But throughout his college career, Howard has caught attention for more than his ability to rack up points — there’s also the outspoken attention he brings to his faith. After he became his school’s all-time leading scorer in the team’s 2019-20 home opener, he said, “First and foremost, it wouldn’t be possible without God. [I’m] so thankful for all that He’s blessed me with.”

Howard says his jersey number “0” is a reminder he’s nothing without God. He has tattoos of Bible passages on his arms (Jeremiah 29:11 and Philippians 4:13.). And between Howard’s sophomore and junior seasons at Marquette, he made the decision to go on a missions trip to Costa Rica. Upon his return, he helped to start the first FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) chapter on campus.

“Going out and trying to get people interested in the concept of coming to something that’s new … at Marquette is really cool,” Howard told the Marquette Wire. “Anybody that can be touched by God through anything that we’re doing is something we really look forward to.”

Marquette men’s basketball associate head coach Stan Johnson, one of Howard’s mentors in his faith, was recently invited to be a guest speaker, and spoke about the importance of purpose in life. The talk influenced Howard to think about his own purpose.

“Part of my purpose is to help people through the game, but also help them bring themselves to God. In my life, God’s given me so much,” Howard said. “For me to fulfill my purpose, I feel to use basketball as a vehicle to bring people closer to God is definitely what I think I’m on this earth to do.”

Marquette’s next game comes Tuesday at home against Creighton. Howard will be featured in the upcoming Spring 2020 issue of Sports Spectrum Magazine.

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