Dwight David Howard (born December 8, 1985) is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Howard, who usually plays center but can also play power forward, had an outstanding high school career at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy. He chose to forgo college and entered the 2004 NBA Draft, and was selected first overall by the Orlando Magic. A seven-time All-Star, seven-time All-NBA team selection, five-time All-Defensive member, and three-time Defensive Player of the Year, Howard has been ranked consistently as one of the best in the league in rebounds, blocks, field goal percentage and free throw attempts, and has set numerous franchise and league records. He led the Magic to three division titles and one conference title, and he was the winner of the 2008 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. In the 2008 Olympics, he was the starting center for Team USA, which went on to win the gold medal. He was traded to the Lakers in 2012.
Before he was drafted in 2004, Howard said that he wanted to use his NBA career and Christian faith to "raise the name of God within the league and throughout the world". In November 2009, he was named one of the 10 finalists for the Jefferson Awards for Public Service, which awards athletes for their charitable work.