Richard Harward looked down at the scale, and immediately knew he was in trouble. The scale read 270 pounds, and the Orem senior knew that was way too high.
Orem coach Golden Holt was right there to witness the large number pop up on the scale back in mid-January, and he immediately devised a plan to get Harward back in basketball shape. Both parties knew Harward needed to play an important role if Orem was going to contend for the 4A state championship.
Over the past two months, Harward put in the work to become a factor again, and now when he weighs himself now the scale reads 241.
Shedding those 29 pounds helped Harward play 31 minutes in Monday’s 4A first round game against Box Elder, finishing with 12 points and nine rebounds.
“I don’t know if there’s a better 5 in the state than Richard Harward right now,” said Holt. “We don’t ask Richard to do a lot, but around the rim at both ends, 6’9, 240 is a presence. He gets the dump off passes and he’s big and strong enough to finish.”
The weight loss became necessary because of a mountain biking accident last summer. Harward said he ate five meals a day during the inactivity, and when the sling came off in late October he paid the price.
“I just knew it was going to be one of the hardest seasons yet. The day my doctor let me take my sling off I did one up and back and I was huffing and puffing,” said Harward.
“Every morning at like 6:30 my coach would come in and I’d run ladders and 16s we call them and then I’d shoot free throws and run another one,” said Harward. “I did that for half hour and 45 minutes before every day and then I’d run a little bit after practice.”
Now, he’s ready to play every minute of every game if necessary, a huge bonus for Orem’s title hopes.