As the 2020 NBA Draft approaches, we look into one of the incoming rookies.
Isaiah Stewart is a 6 feet 9 inches power forward who is going to be one of the players getting picked in this year’s draft.
Stewart grew up playing soccer and boxing. In fifth grade, Stewart focused only on basketball, drawn to because of his athleticism and size. He attended McQuaid Jesuit High School in his first two years of high school. As a freshman (6’7″) Stewart averaged 18.5 points, 12.4 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game. He also recorded two back-to-back 40-point games, earning Rochester City Athletic Conference player of the year.
He transferred to La Lumiere School, a prep school in La Porte with a prestigious basketball program, entering his junior year. Over the span of 19 games, he averaged 19.8 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game, leading his team to a 25-4 record. He earned the MaxPreps Junior All-American honourable mention recognition. In his senior season, he averaged 18.1 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game, leading his team to a 30-1 record. Isaiah won the Naismith Prep Player of the Year and Mr Basketball USA awards. He was also named to the USA Today All-USA first team and MaxPreps All-American second team. Stewart was selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game, Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoop Summit.
He had college offers from Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State, Washington and Syracuse. On 21st January 2019, he committed to play basketball for Washington. In his college debut against Baylor Bears, Stewart recorded 15 points and 7 rebounds, including the game-winning basket in a 67-64 win. At the end of the regular season, Stewart was named to the All-PAC 12 first team and the Freshman Team. In his one year at college, he averaged 17 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. He then declared for the 2020 NBA Draft, at the end of the college season.
Many analysts compare him to NBA players like Derrick Favours, Zach Randolph and Elton Brand. He is dangerous on the offensive glass, has a monster frame with great strength and powerful leap and is a defensive menace who controls the paint with his shot-blocking ability, space clearing and rebounding talent. He is projected to get picked anywhere between the mid-first-round to late-first round.