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First Person

Dwight Howard, Magic Center

Posted: Tuesday February 13, 2007 12:59PM; Updated: Tuesday February 13, 2007 5:34PM
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Dwight Howard, Magic Center.
Dwight Howard, Magic Center.
Michael J. LeBrecht II/1Deuce3 Photography
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As told to Chris Mannix

On "Finding Nemo"

It's a great movie! My favorite character is Dory. She's silly and makes me laugh. I love kids' movies because I'm a big kid. But I think a lot of players watch these movies. I just don't think they're telling anyone about it.

On making his first All-Star Game in this, his third season

In high school I went to the Michael Jordan classic, and I had a chance to talk to him. He told me I should be an All-Star by my third year. He said, "If you want to be an All-Star, you've got to put in the work." That's been in my mind since the day I met Jordan.

On life after basketball

I'd like to act. I like being in front of the camera and making people laugh. I also want to do voice-overs in cartoons. I wouldn't mind roles like Shaq's in those superhero movies. If I'd gone to college, I would have majored in computer technology -- I like video games and cellphones and wanted to learn how to make them -- but my minor would have been in theater.

On high school players' no longer being allowed to jump to the NBA as he did

Personally, I don't think I missed out on anything -- I wanted to come out of high school [Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy] to the NBA since I was five. But coming from that level to the NBA is different than coming from college. Here, it's the best of the best. I think David Stern made the decision based on the statistics, and I think he made the right decision.

On being religious in the NBA

I have talked to players about Christianity when I thought the time was right, and the people I talked to have been pretty receptive. I don't beat them over the head with it. I think I can be a leader by my example. People look at me that way because I'm always staying out of trouble and not going to the wrong places. My teammates respect me, and they respect what I believe in.

On playing for the U.S. team last summer

It was a lot different than what I thought it would be. I thought we were going to go out there and run everyone off the court. But these international teams, they have been playing together so long that their chemistry is incredible. I think that's what we have to do, keep this team together. In five or six years we're all going to be much better players and much more comfortable playing together.

On his time in Japan

I spent almost all my free time in my room. If I went out, I got mobbed. Sometimes I would go to the lobby and play Scrabble with Chris Bosh, but most of the time I was upstairs and playing video games. It was how I stayed in shape. I love playing Fight Night, and between rounds I'd do 30 push-ups. It came to hundreds of push-ups a night!

HOWARD, 21, LEADS THE MAGIC WITH AVERAGES OF 17.6 POINTS AND 11.8 REBOUNDS.

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