Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 2 months ago

Natasha Howard | Average to Savage EP175

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the one hundred and seventy-fifth episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring New York Liberty's Natasha Howard. Paul Guarino talked with 3x WNBA Champion Natasha Howard discussing her amazing WNBA career so far, being underrated, and things you might know about her.   

Follow Natasha Howard 

https://www.instagram.com/natashahoward_6 

This podcast interview with Natasha Howard was originally recorded on September 13, 2022

This is the average to savage podcast with Paul Guerrino, everyone and anyone, athletes, celebs and much more. WHAT'S UP, everybody? Welcome back to another episode of the average savage podcast. Our special guest today is Natasha Howard. Natasha, how was it going? I'm good. I'm good. What about you? I'm doing good. Appreciate you coming on. No problem. So at first I'm just gonna I'm just gonna gas you up a little bit because, like, I think you're I think you're you're super underrated and I want to see you on more podcasts and more things like this, because I think you need to get your self out there more. I think more people need to know about you. Three time champion, defensive player of the year, All Star, all that. I agree. I agree, you know. Um, so let's just go back into this past season, obviously just ended a few weeks ago. What was your what was your overall? How did experience and like, how did you think it went overall? For me, I feel like it went good. Like you know, I had like a little school start be the beginning of the season, though, but other than that, and how you finished and how you started, how you finished, and I felt like I finished really strong towards the end of the season. UH, like I felt like I left everything. I don't record this past season. Uh, thank God that I didn't get injured. So, uh, I was healthy. You know, I did what I needed to do for my teammates and, uh, for for the organization, also for the coach or whatever they needed me to do. Uh, I felt good, like, you know, we're we're still building, you know, putting more pizzas together, you know, to get you know, to get over that Hump, to go into that like the next round in the playoff next season. So I feel really good this past season and I'm really excited for the next season. Yeah, for sure. Let's just go back in time a little bit, like what was your what was your first memory of playing basketball? I'm first remember playing basketball. At first I don't want to play basketball. I didn't want to play I just wanted to be a normal kid at the age of ten. But my uncle, who bribed me, I...

...did a dollar if you give it this ball. I said, okay, well, I'm gonna keep doing this point and keep giving me dollar. So I just wanted the money is to go to the story, just candy but I started loving the game, you know, when I got into like Middle School. But growing up in my life, I played with Growman at the park back in toled Ohio. That's why I'm like really tough a lit the way I play. It's kind of like more physical and more versustile because, you know, looking up to other guys and stuff. You know that that I went to the next level or that's also playing overseas at the moment, right now too. Uh, but you know, uh, yeah, I didn't want to play. I just wanted to be a normal kid. But next you know, I started loving the game and loving it even more when I got to high school and I'm like this could take give me a four right to go to school, and it got me a four D to go to Florestate University. Uh, you know, I had people in my corner to, you know, add more stuff into my game. But shout out to my Uncle Greg Howard that actually want to tell me how to play basketball, but also, uh, give credit to all the other coaches that put more fundamentals and other stuff into my game. And Uh, you know the phone, the phone woman probably Um, I live in college though, when, uh, I dropped like four points my senior year against Syracuse. I think that's like the best moment right there. And Uh, that was that. That right there was fun that. Yeah, yeah, tell me a little bit about like how Florida's stay recruited you and then, like was there, like what other schools recruited you, and then how did you eventually pick for the Florida state? I was a time of school. I had Craig School of letters, trash bags, like. It was so many schools, like it was crazy with over woman a little bit. But I have fun. I have fun, you know, figuring out what school I want to choose. I got picked, like, I think for school was a was...

...an Xavier our burn Florida state and uh, it was another school, but like, so I think it was just the three school, but it was another school, but I didn't up going to go visit them. But, uh, Florida state stood out more because I don't want to be in the code. On top of I didn't want to be super close to home either. That's like what good. Three, three, two hours away from home, but outside of the code. I wanted to be somewhere it's warm, somewhere different, you know, the top of that Florida state had a really good academic program there was like top five in the country when it was recruiting me and stuff. And their basketball organization was really good. Um O sou been there since she was twenty some years old whatever. And Uh, so like that right there stood out to me more just how they treat their players when they graduating. Also there too, they treat like they like. They help them when it's time for them the graduate. They help them to find jobs and stuff if they wanted to make it to the pros. They still have connections of you know, to put them in the right positions after they graduated stuff, and I felt like florist they did that for me. Uh, you just put me in the right positions when I need to be at in in my career, and I really appreciate that what they did for me. Yeah, for sure. Um, yeah, going, like going to Florida from Ohio. Was that like? Was it was there any like culture shock or anything? Um, Kinda like you know, people who and Florida was nice. People back going home may nice too, but people are different. They yeah, they different, they're different. Uh. It was really southern, you know, but there was. There was really nice people who open armed. So I really that's that's that's one thing to ask these shopings right there and there. Food was really good. It was really good. I can't e s for them allergy though, but other stuff it was really good. They was really good. Yeah, for sure. Um. And then just going into the W N B A M or actually before that,...

...like did you like at Flores, say, like did you know like you were going to go pro like, was that like a goal of yours? Yeah, absolutely, like that was one of my goals, you know, uh, to make it out of you know, too, be the first person to to make it out of the mud or whatnot. Maybe, you know, just make it out of there, you know. And like I dreamed about it and coastal me and her had a meeting in her office. She told me that that invited to the BN B A draft. I said, Yo, stop playing with me, like no, they just caught me and they asked me about you and I told him everything about you and stuff. I was like wow, like I was in shock still. I was like wow, I was literally in shock. But uh, it was a blessing. It was a dream come true for me. Uh, just everything that I worked for all their sacrifice or dedication that I put into, you know, to get to that, to get to that point, and I was really grateful and uh was so I was excited. Yeah, well, yeah, so what was that like to get drafted fifth overall, top five pick? Uh, I was surprised that I got drafted, uh, if overall for real, though, because, to be honest, I thought it was gonna be Stephanie Dawson between me and her, like being a flip for six or getting drafted ship for six. But I was just surprised, though, like wow, like me being drafted to pick. Okay, uh, I guess from somebody, you know, somebody in a in a very humble the way. I'm like, okay, okay, but yeah, I was like I was happy that I got drafted to Indiana, you know, family and friends who come see me. It's like not too far. So I was happy to still be close to home. Yeah, well, you mentioned Stephanie Dawson. Is it? Is it uh cool now that you're her teammate? Absolutely. I was tired of play against Stephanie Dawson Night, Big Post player I was. I was I was skinny playing against you big, strong post players. I'm like well, but I'm happy that I have my team so I don't gotta play against anymore. Yeah, for sure. Um, now I'll tell you your your career. kind of a slow, I'd say,...

...because you didn't really start at the beginning of your career. And then, I'd say, two eighteen, you're a full time starter. was that like the turnaround, the turning point for you? Absolutely, like, you know, coming in, coming into the league, you know, as a rookie, my start, it depends on what they have on a team and stuff. For me, I had to make a catching you know, I had like some of the great post players on Indiana, Minnesota and stuff like. But I'll be impatient, like I like to make people like you know, your time gonna come. You know, I picked her brand a little bit. You know, I picked Uh Brunson, Rebecca Brunson brand, a little bit like you know, and it was always like always telling me, like your time gonna come. To be patient, you know, just work cards, keep doing the things that the coach want you to do. Just keep working in your game, and that's what I've been doing, is keep working on my game, being patient. Next, you know, the will just started, like the table just started turning from me and you know, I got that started spot and when I went to Seattle and that right there was just like a sign from God, like, you know, this is your time now, like what are you gonna do with it? And I took a full advantage of that. Yeah, well, yeah, and then you won back to back titles, two seventeen, two eighteen, with Minnesota Lincoln, then Seattle Storm. Uh, what was like? What was it like to win your first settle? But then what was it like to like, you know, almost contribute more to the second title, one of my first title in Minnesota Seventeen, it felt good, like it like it really felt good. Um, you know, I was happy with every one and all, like you don't like, you know, but with the setment title, I felt like I did a lot too to get that title. Like I contribute a lot too to help Seattle to, you know, win that championship in eighteen. So I was really excited in that moment right there when we when we won the championships. I feel like I'm like I started, I want to ship title, my second title, and I actually contribute through the whole season to get that, to get that second championship. So that...

...right there, that's one of the greatest members right there that I will never forget, that I actually contribute to something that I worked so hard for. Yeah, definitely. And Yeah, you had great teams, like Dynasty Teams, uh, that you're on exactly. It's pretty it's crazy that you're a part of two of them. Um, and then twenty nineteen you win the defensive player of the year and then the bubble season you won the championship again. So and then all star first year twenty nineteen as well. So you went on a good, good street. You're on a good street. I was I was just just, you know, just working on my game. And, you know, he's being hungry. It's having a tip on my shoulder, like, you know, just me just being, like you said, he's being an underdog and, you know, just being kind of underrated and stuff. You know, that right there just just turned turned to be stone. And why? Why do you think you're underrated? I really don't know. I really don't know, like, like, I don't I don't know everybody to like, you know, I'm like, I really don't know that. I used to ask to people on Social Media, Um, and then obviously covid your how like interesting? was that like living in the bubble? Living in a bubble, man. It was, it was. It was weird. It was really weird. Like we couldn't be around our families, like our friends, like our loved ones, like we couldn't do nothing. He's had to be in a bubble practice see everybody every single day. Like it was. It was, you know, it was kind of depressing to move back and I'm not gonna lie with it, a little bit depressing, like you know, a lot of people what's going down that when it came to like mentor and stuff. But like like with like with us, with the Seattle Tak we came into forementioned only just to win everything, and we we also have fun with each other. That's the thing. We have fun with each other and we did a lot of team bonding, a lot...

...of teams stuff. So that's one thing about Seattle. Like we had a lot of great players, great people with good personality and stuff. So we had we had fun and there was an odall moment at all. So and UH, when the time to go, we we went. We would go time and the time we played, even though that the schedule was compact. We played almost every other day. That was like a toll on everybody's body that, but we pushed through it. MHMM. Yeah, for sure. And then Um, so latter twenty last year, you get traded to Um delivered. Did you know you reintraded? No, I didn't know I was getting traded, though, like I didn't know. MHM, but I kinda kind of me. I wanted to be close to home. So I kind of like tell my agents. I'm like, Yo, I kind of want to be close to home, like can we find a team that could be close to home too, and stuff. And you know, when a time came and stuff like get peoplehere, when make a start talking or whatever. And UH, in New York with one of the people that was like, you know, on top of the risk compared to other teams. But New York really wanted me bad and I'm like, I thought, I've never been New York, like why not? But you're back on the east coast again. How I wasn't the beginning of my seat, at the beginning of my career. So I wanted to be close to home and back on the east coast. So yeah, yeah, for sure. And then, like we just discussed before. You're all start again this year. Um, what what was like the difference between your first all star and then this year's all star? UH, first year all started like you know, I feel like I deserved that one right there. I did. I deserve both of them, but I feel like I deserved I should have been awesome plenty of times in my career, but I say that for another day. But but the first one, I worked hard for it and it's one. Also worked hard for it. But, you know, as end the day, came up to and put it in the coach's hands and stuff. But all the coaches have...

...respect from. We have a respect for all the coaches in the league. So and the coaches see how I play and stuff like that. So I was really grateful that the coaches wanted me to be resort playing an Allstar game. So I was happy to be, like, you know, my second kind of being Asto. So I was really grateful. Yeah, for sure. Now I gotta ask you. Have you have you tried some Brooklyn Pizza? Yeah, I tried some Brooklyn Pizza. That's good. That's actually good. They hot I'M NOT gonna lie in the hot dogs really good. All right dogs. Well, I'm from Connecticut, so, like, Connecticut actually has the Best Pizza, and it's like a debate like Connecticut New York. I never tried Connecticut Pizza, but we always were, always in a casino. So yeah, well, they got one in there. We'll try it next season. Well, I'll take them. Keep your word on that, alright. Got You. Um. Now, obviously, UM, casual fans don't know that you guys play overseas using the quote unquote, off season. Um. So what what has that experience been like for you, um in general, and it's like, have you enjoyed it? Uh, you know, I've been going to I've been gonna receive you since I got into the League. So it was fun. Like you know, I felt a little homesick my first year going overseas and stuff, but at the end of the day, like, you meet a lot of good people, you learn different things about their culture and stuff. So it was a culture shock for me when I first time I went to Israel because, you know, it was like war stuff going on over to you here, the bomb and stuff. I would literally live in a cross the street from a prison, practicing in the gym like next door to a prison. Ti'm like Yo, like this is so good, old and stuff. But but like now, like me getting older, and why is it when it comes to like going to receive and stuff, like now I'm getting to the point, like it's a kind of time for me to know. So don't rest my body, take care of my body, take care of my my mental space, like you know, because like that's gonna take a tone, especially when I receives too, because you like we'd be received like six to eight months so and just playing...

...ball and stuff. So with me, like I loved it, I got loved it, but sometimes it's been taking a toll on me a little bit mentally and physically. But this year I don't know if I'm going to receive, like I might go in the second half, in January. So, but I don't know where that yet, but I'll keep you posted about that. Yeah, for sure, Um and you, and you played in Russia last last season, right last season. Yet and that's crazy. So that yeah, so you, you, uh, did you abort right when everything happened? Like I didn't born as soon as everything happened, like because it was me and regained pits over there. So we was keeping that was keeping we was keeping each other updated and stuff like that agent was keeping US updated and uh, like, you know, when all that stuff was actually happening, we was like really, like forty five minutes from the border of you pray, so anything could have possibly happened. Like we heard like the jets flying over over all apartments and stuff. was just crazy and I'm like, I'm like like yeah, it's time for us to go before it was too late. And it's like we had to drive really like three or four hours of back to another airport to get on a fight to come back home. It was just crazy. It was just ridiculous. Like we were scared. Yeah, yeah, that's crazy. Yeah, I mean that's definitely a reason just not to go overseas this year. Yeah, Um, but yeah, and then just in just in general, like what, what advice would you give to a young basketball player? Whatever you want to do, that's possible. Uh, don't let him like get in the way of what you want to do. Uh, have the right people in your circle. UH, whatever makes you happy to do it, but it's going to take a lot of work, it's gonna be some ups and downs, but still pushed through it and you know, and CEP keep climbing the mountain and on stop.

I like that. Are you ready for some fun questions? Let's do it all. We talked about food before. What what's your favorite food? And favorite food? Tian Food. All right, you played in Italy too, so how was that played in? It was good. Wine is good. That tiant food is good. Archum is really good too. I don't really eat. I eat chocolate on each chocolate like that, but I had got some good chocolate jobs. All right. What do you like to do in your free time? A free time on shopping. I like to tell my video games here and there. I recently bought a PLAYFA in five yesterday. So, all right, what do you play? I don't really played basketball on your basketball football, Mr Parents, Gosha, and your your sneaker head right, an. What's your what's your what's your favorite shoe? You own favorite shoot on? Some ones. Can never go wrong with ones. I have a couple of pairs. At what's like? What's like a shoe that you want that you don't have? Uh, feel like I think I got any? Sure that I want to be honest. To be honest, all right, I like that Um. Last one. What do is something people don't know about you. I don't know about mean that I make these on my stirre of time. All right, is that something you want to pursue, like? Well, I mean you can pursue it now, like after basketball. Um, no, that's not what I want to pursue like like like it will be good, like, you know, if I have a mentor to actually help me out, to actually like to kind of do like, you know, would like, you know, to be like an engineer of something like that, behind the scenes of like a celebrity or somebody, you know. But my thing is like, you know, kind of feeling like a counselor talk to like young kids, the youth of Trauma, whatever people going through and stuff. You know, I took up sociology to science in College, so I just wanted to, you know, deal with people that dealt with trauma like likes the situation. Yeah, that's cool. Well, I appreciate you coming on in. Could you let the listeners know where...

...to follow you at? You can follow me on Instagram at Natasha Howard Underscore, oh six, I mean six, and then uh, follow me on twitter in Howard ten thirty three. You can follow me on Tiktok d a underscore, flash, underscore, six boom. I see you on Tiktok.

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