5 Minutes with… Dwight Howard

February 27, 2011 – In a rare break from baseball this
spring, Yankees team photographer James Petrozzello and I traveled a few hours
east of Tampa to see the Orlando Magic take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on
Friday night (Feb. 25).

The Magic won convincingly behind a David versus Goliath
performance by all-world center Dwight Howard. Howard scored 40 points, blocked
six shots and brought down 16 rebounds. I stopped counting the number of slam
dunks Howard amassed after he reached eight.

Following the game, I sat down with Howard in the Magic
locker room for a “5 Minutes with…” piece, which will be published in the May
issue of Yankees Magazine.

One of the topics we discussed was Howard’s affinity for

“When I was in high school, I really enjoyed playing baseball
as much as basketball,” the 6-foot, 11-inch star said. “I was a pitcher, and I
had a good fastball. I really liked to watch Randy Johnson pitch because he was
so tall and he used his height to his advantage.”

Howard also spoke to me about a familiar face he sees each

“CC Sabathia is here a lot during spring training,” Howard
said. “He has come up to me before a few of our games and said, ‘I’m here to
see you play.’ I really admire him
for that, and I’m honored that he wants to take the time to see me out there.”

–Alfred Santasiere III



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