Georgia Tech’s Rodney Howard receives eligibility waiver from NCAA

Former Georgia basketball player Rodney Howard (24) during an exhibition game against Valdosta State in Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Former Georgia basketball player Rodney Howard (24) during an exhibition game against Valdosta State in Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

Georgia Tech’s prospects for the coming season received a significant lift Wednesday as transfer center Rodney Howard was granted an immediate-eligibility waiver by the NCAA. The decision followed the NCAA clearing fellow transfer Kyle Sturdivant for his own waiver Monday.

Howard, from Alpharetta, played his freshman season for Georgia before deciding to transfer following the season. Howard, who played at Centennial High before transferring for his final season to a high school in South Carolina, played in 24 of UGA’s 32 games last season, averaging 7.3 minutes per game. He averaged 1.3 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. He chose to transfer to Tech to be closer to home because of a family circumstance.

“Everything goes through compliance, but I’m happy for both Kyle and Rodney,” Tech coach Josh Pastner told the AJC. “Both guys continue to add to our depth to our team. They both played Division I basketball at a Power-5 school last year.”

Howard has to continue to develop – he played only three years of organized basketball before college – but he has size (6-foot-11 and 245 pounds), good hands and can move his feet well. Pastner compared his situation with forward Moses Wright, who has developed from a lightly recruited prospect with limited experience to a legitimate starter in the ACC.

Howard’s availability for this season gives Pastner experienced depth in the frontcourt, where he needs help most following the graduation of center James Banks. Without Howard, the Yellow Jackets would have to rely on Wright and two freshman post players, Saba Gigiberia and Jordan Meka.

“We’ve obviously been very limited in our workouts and limited in what we can do, but there’s no denying our area of least depth is that (center) spot, and by him being able to play, that helps us the most,” Pastner said.

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