Following the Syracuse Orange’s win over Eastern Michigan last week, Frank Howard grabbed a seat and prepared to greet the media in the Syracuse locker room. The junior guard — who has emerged as the vocal leader of this Syracuse club — speaks eloquently to the media as if he were an NBA veteran.
When asked about the next game he already knew the scout on Virginia Tech to boot. He detailed how well the Hokies had shot the ball all season and how Syracuse would have to get out to shooters, all the while donning a Metallica sweatshirt. If Frank doesn’t have an eclectic taste in music, he at least has a fascinating sense of style.
Earlier this year he came out in an Aaliyah t-shirt, a nod the 90’s R&B singer whose life and career was cut short after her plane crashed in 2001. When asked if he listens to the music of the artists he’s wearing, he admits that he does.
“Yeah a little bit, you know what I mean, when I want to calm down, be smooth,” Frank said of Aaliyah, “but I’m definitely a 90’s baby at heart I love all the 90’s era music.”
Music serves as an important and useful tool for all walks of life. For athletes and basketball players specifically, rap is wedded and weaved into basketball culture. The aggressive and competitive undertones of both make it a perfect matrimony. Frank is no stranger to either and he shows love to younger guys coming up in the game like himself while also paying homage to Maryland guys.
“A lot of hometown young guys,” Frank said of his recent playlist, “I want to support the youth at home, you know a lot of young guys, a lot of DC rappers.”
But his taste in music is just limited to his hometown, either.
“I’m still rocking with the regular stuff, Kodak Black. I like the Quavo and Travis Scott new album,” he finished.
For the older readers unfamiliar with the aforementioned names: In Syracuse’s most recent trip to the Final Four — Frank’s freshman campaign — Kodak was named to the 2016 XXL freshman class. The latter mentioned Quavo and Travis Scott album has already debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.
An under told storyline around Syracuse basketball is what players wear on their feet. Not to overgeneralize as the importance of shoes comes down to each individual player, but some players take pride in their shoe-game. If not for fashion, Frank is at least interested in getting good support for his feet.
“I kind of like the finer shoe,” Frank said, “last year I think I went with the Kobe’s. This year I’m going to go KD’s to get that extra support.”
Speaking of shoe-game and Kobe, Tyus Battle has noted his admiration for the Laker legend in the past. He’s donned the Kyrie 3 “Mamba Mentality” shoes of late with the new Kyrie 4 “Confetti” making a one game cameo against Buffalo. Both are shown below.
Tyus stays in the Kyrie's for tonight's game. pic.twitter.com/qJr7mJc8d2— James Szuba (@JamesSzuba) December 27, 2017
“He’s been doing it, man! He’s usually the guy with the worst shoe game,” Frank joked on the behalf of Tyus, “I’m proud of him, how he grew this year.”
Frank himself has been sticking with both white and off-white Nikes this season but in the past he’s displayed a shoe game as wide-ranging as his taste in music. In his freshman year he showed off KD’s on multiple occasions. As mentioned, he wore Kobe’s in spots of his sophomore campaign.
Asked whether he was set to bring out something more colorful, he acknowledged that it was in the works and that was going to switch up the colorway. Could he really wear white all season?
“I’m trying not to, man. You gotta talk to the equipment manager. I put in a few orders so I’m just waiting for that,” he finished.
He wouldn’t have to wait much longer. The junior point stayed true to his word and donned a pair of KD’s to kick off the ACC season.