Former Cyclone David Howard took the helm of the men’s
basketball team starting in the 2013-14 season. He earned the coveted
role in late spring 2013.
Howard has been around basketball since he was 4 years old. He played at Whitney Young High School in Chicago and helped his team win the city championship his freshman year before becoming a three-year varsity player. After tearing his ACL senior year, he realized the importance of academics. While figuring out his educational path, he bounced around a few colleges including Waubonsee Community College and Moraine Valley, where he played under Shannon. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL again while at Moraine Valley but was steered toward coaching while earning a BA at DePaul University (2006-08). He started as an assistant varsity coach at Christian Fenger Academy High School. He then headed the JV team and then became head varsity coach at Perspectives Charter School where he led the squad to its first winning season. That team advanced to state rounds and won more games than any other in the school’s history. Howard was later an assistant at Corliss High School. He also was a utility coach for freshman, sophomore and varsity teams at Wendell Phillips Academy High School.
Once Howard heard there would be a coaching opportunity at Moraine Valley, he jumped at the chance. “I’m grateful that coach Bill Finn and [former head coach] Dedrick Shannon opened this door for me. This is truly a blessing for me to be head coach,” he said.
Howard wants a melding of sport, academics and life. “My philosophy is to teach life through basketball. After my ACL reconstruction, I hung up my laces. I didn’t want it to happen, but at some point you have to hang up the laces and work. I want the players prepared. I want them to work on the court and in the classroom and develop them as young men of high quality and character and top citizens as a whole,” he said. “It’s a tough task, but I welcome it, and I believe I can make a difference. We’ll learn from each other. When they look back, I hope they think it was meaningful and that they learned to be disciplined and set goals.”
On the court, Howard wants his guys to use their basketball IQ, play the game more mentally. Through repetition at practice, attention to detail and good conditioning, he hopes this focus will aid his squad.
James Daniels joined the Cyclones coaching staff as an
assistant in the 2013-14 season. He was a volunteer assistant
from 2008 to 2012. Daniels also was an assistant sophomore boys
basketball coach at Shepard High School (2012-14). At Thornwood
High School, Daniels was a three-sport athlete—football,
baseball and basketball. He continued playing basketball at
Moraine Valley, 2004-06, under former coach Dedrick Shannon. In
his spare time he continues to play basketball as well as
Brandon Allen joined the Cyclone crew as assistant coach in October 2014.
Allen began coaching in 2003 at Ferrari Youth Basketball, a Chicago-based
AAU traveling team, where he worked for three consecutive summers. In 2006,
he became head freshmen boys’ basketball coach at Chicago Academy High
School, where he maintained a winning record and took the team to its first
playoff appearance. After one season, Allen accepted an assistant varsity
coach position at Morgan Park High School, where he was later named the head
sophomore boys’ basketball coach. In his first season at Morgan Park, Allen
was able to successfully take this squad to the playoffs as well. Following
that season, he had to step away from coaching due to work demands. He is
happy to return to one of his true loves and excited about the opportunity
to serve Moraine Valley in this capacity.
Prior to coaching, Allen played basketball at Whitney Young High School (1997-2001), where he shared the court with head coach David Howard for one year. After graduating, Allen accepted an athletic scholarship to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and played power forward for the Hawks (2001-02). He then transferred to the University of Illinois at Chicago where he played under Coach Jimmy Collins. After one season, and a number of medical issues, Allen walked away from playing basketball and began coaching.
Allen received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2006, and is happily married to Sharisse Allen.